Friday, November 25, 2016
Trusting God When It Seems Hopeless
A Psalm of David
“LORD, I cry unto thee: make haste unto me; give ear unto my voice, when I cry unto thee. Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.” (Psalm 141:1-2)
As humans, we have very limited understanding of what is going on around us. By the time we recognize a potential problem, it appears as a huge problem, and we cry out desperately unto God for a solution. David was no different than the rest of us. He asked that God respond quickly to his prayer, and that his prayers be as precious to God as the incense which was offered on the altar of incense or his holding up his hands in supplication as the offering of the evening sacrifice.
“Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practice wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.” (Psalm 141:3-4)
Because we know so little, we over react to things that happen. And David was afraid he would say or do things that were offensive to God in an effort to escape some threat. So often our fear leads us into sin, and David did not want to fall into that trap.
“Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities. When their judges are overthrown in stony places, they shall hear my words; for they are sweet.” (Psalm 141:5-6)
He would rather be punished by righteous men who would act for his good, painful as it might be. Like a parent spanking a child to stop him from doing something dangerous to prevent his doing something worse in the future which might result in his death or imprisonment, he would accept their desire to help him and consider it a blessing. He would continue to pray for them in love when they had problems, and would encourage them with pleasant words.
“Our bones are scattered at the grave's mouth, as when one cutteth and cleaveth wood upon the earth. But mine eyes are unto thee, O GOD the Lord: in thee is my trust; leave not my soul destitute. Keep me from the snares which they have laid for me, and the gins of the workers of iniquity. Let the wicked fall into their own nets, whilst that I withal escape.” (Psalm 141:7-10)
Though it seemed hopeless, and like their bones were scattered around like wood chips where someone chopped wood, David was still looking to God for help, trusting he would act on his behalf. He asked that God enable him to avoid the traps the wicked had set for him, and cause them to fall into the traps themselves, while he escaped them. After all, God knows every trap that has been set for us and exactly what will be needed to escape it.