Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Psalms 69 --- God today protect me and others from evil!

Psalms 69 deal with the struggle we all face because we live in a world that does have people who hate us. Sometimes, they hate us for our race, our looks, our career, our religion, jealousy, and the list goes on. Reach Psalm 69 and pay attention to the direct words the Psalmist writings in verses 22-28.

      1 Save me, O God,
         for the waters have come up to my neck.
      2 I sink in the miry depths,
         where there is no foothold.
         I have come into the deep waters;
         the floods engulf me.
      3 I am worn out calling for help;
         my throat is parched.
         My eyes fail,
         looking for my God.
      4 Those who hate me without reason
         outnumber the hairs of my head;
         many are my enemies without cause,
         those who seek to destroy me.
         I am forced to restore
         what I did not steal.

      5 You, God, know my folly;
         my guilt is not hidden from you.

      6 Lord, the LORD Almighty,
         may those who hope in you
         not be disgraced because of me;
         God of Israel,
         may those who seek you
         not be put to shame because of me.
      7 For I endure scorn for your sake,
         and shame covers my face.
      8 I am a foreigner to my own family,
         a stranger to my own mother’s children;
      9 for zeal for your house consumes me,
         and the insults of those who insult you fall on me.
      10 When I weep and fast,
         I must endure scorn;
      11 when I put on sackcloth,
         people make sport of me.
      12 Those who sit at the gate mock me,
         and I am the song of the drunkards.

      13 But I pray to you, LORD,
         in the time of your favor;
         in your great love, O God,
         answer me with your sure salvation.
      14 Rescue me from the mire,
         do not let me sink;
         deliver me from those who hate me,
         from the deep waters.
      15 Do not let the floodwaters engulf me
         or the depths swallow me up
         or the pit close its mouth over me.

      16 Answer me, LORD, out of the goodness of your love;
         in your great mercy turn to me.
      17 Do not hide your face from your servant;
         answer me quickly, for I am in trouble.
      18 Come near and rescue me;
         deliver me because of my foes.

      19 You know how I am scorned, disgraced and shamed;
         all my enemies are before you.
      20 Scorn has broken my heart
         and has left me helpless;
         I looked for sympathy, but there was none,
         for comforters, but I found none.
      21 They put gall in my food
         and gave me vinegar for my thirst.

      22 May the table set before them become a snare; 
         may it become retribution and a trap. 
      23 May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see, 
         and their backs be bent forever. 
      24 Pour out your wrath on them; 
         let your fierce anger overtake them. 
      25 May their place be deserted; 
         let there be no one to dwell in their tents. 
      26 For they persecute those you wound 
         and talk about the pain of those you hurt. 
      27 Charge them with crime upon crime; 
         do not let them share in your salvation. 
      28 May they be blotted out of the book of life 
         and not be listed with the righteous. 

      29 But as for me, afflicted and in pain—
         may your salvation, God, protect me.

      30 I will praise God’s name in song
         and glorify him with thanksgiving.
      31 This will please the LORD more than an ox,
         more than a bull with its horns and hooves.
      32 The poor will see and be glad—
         you who seek God, may your hearts live!
      33 The LORD hears the needy
         and does not despise his captive people.

      34 Let heaven and earth praise him,
         the seas and all that move in them,
      35 for God will save Zion
         and rebuild the cities of Judah.
         Then people will settle there and possess it;
         36      the children of his servants will inherit it,
         and those who love his name will dwell there.

The New International Version. 2011 (Ps 69:1–36). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

It is interesting first how honest the Psalmist is. He wrote what he felt. I wonder if we mince to many words with Jesus and sometimes just need to say what we really believe--he knows anyway:).

This Psalm raises another question worth asking--"How do we separate forgiveness and love from protection, justice, and even just ending evil? This Psalmist clearly prays for an end to evil. Maybe we forget that real love wants a world based on Christ--not just tolerance. However, the Psalmist put this justice in God's hands.

I recently read an article from pastors talking of how the "take out church bullies." I agree that at times we should act to stop evil, but I wonder if we spent more time putting issues in God's hands what would happen. I am amazed at God's great ability to not only show grace, but also to protect his people.

God today protect me and others from evil!

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