Well, yesterday we left David in distress but turning his gaze on the Lord. Now today, we see the reward he gets for waiting on his God. Deliverance.
Psalm 40 is what I often declare as my testimony of salvation. The Lord inclined unto my prayer, brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, set my feet upon a rock,and put a new song in my heart. Whether or not we realized it at the time, we were in pits of destruction before we became born again.
But “How blessed is the man who has made the Lord his trust, and has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.”(40:4)
There are several themes which continually come up in the psalms. Of course, we have hit upon many of these. The importance of praising and trusting in God. The importance of knowing that God will bless the righteous. Now we come to another.
Blessings come upon the ones who “consider the helpless.”(41:1) David is a man of rare compassion. A man in his position as king of Israel could easily slip into a routine which would not notice the afflictions of others. Not this king.
Repeatedly we see him reaching out to the poor and seeking justice for the lowly as well as the high. He also encourages others to do the same, since he never forgets where he came from.
We have mentioned the next before, but Psalm 42 is the perfect example of this one. He talks to himself and encourages himself. This is what David did at Ziklag when all seemed lost to him. He returned to his camp from war only to find all of the women and children captured and his city burned. As the other warriors wanted to turn on David, he “encouraged himself in the Lord,” and led a victorious pursuit of all that was lost. Quite a turnaround.
Now back to Psalm 42, he is talking to himself. “Why are you in despair, O my soul? Hope in God.”(42:5 and 11)
If we can just get this one idea – and really get it, we will be transformed. When the going is tough, we should talk to ourselves and remind ourselves that we are to trust in our faithful God. Our trust will be rewarded.
As we praise the Lord, our depression will flee and we will see more clearly. Then hopelessness will turn to faith in Him.
Acts 27: 1-27
We were just speaking of trust in the psalms. Now we see trust playing out in Paul’s life.
The apostle is being transported with some other prisoners to Rome so that he might appeal to Caesar. Almost from the start, the wind is contrary to their sailing. As the entourage is leaving Fair Haven, Paul warns the sailors not to set out just yet. The winds are very contrary, and it is apparent that their very lives are in danger. However, the centurion listens to the sailors and not to Paul. They proceed as planned.
This definitely is the wrong move. Sometimes they are at a standstill, and at other times they are being uncontrollably driven by the wind.
And it gets even worse. As the travelers are violently being tossed, they begin throwing items overboard to lighten the load.
It’s at this moment that Paul stands up and speaks to the sailors. An angel has appeared to him telling him that they will run aground before it is over, but that all lives will be spared. Paul must go to Rome, and God will see to it that they get there.
The events unfold exactly as Paul has said, of course. The ship hits the rocks, and is broken to pieces, but the occupants are able to escape and are brought safely to land.
Do you have assurance that God has your back, as He did Paul’s? His plans will be carried out in our lives also when we listen to Him and obey His voice. We too have angels around us, helping us with our mission. He is watching over all of us, too.
It’s a great feeling isn’t it? When we know that the Lord is on our side, we can rest in Him. He will see us through!