Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Psalms 40

I'm a couple of days behind...already...I know... Anyway, for 40 days left, which would have been Sunday, we were to read Psalms 40. I must say, this has to be one of my favorite passages in the whole Bible. I could write on this chapter for weeks...& maybe I will one day. I really want to memorize this passage one of these days. I want this to be my anthem. 
 1 I waited patiently for the LORD;
   he inclined to me and heard my cry. 
Anthony & I have both waited patiently on the Lord regarding our mate. Neither of us has ever had any deep emotional or physical bond with another person in a romantic way. We are both past the age that we had assumed we would have been married as children.

For me, I expected to be married by 23 & having babies by 25. Oh boy, the Lord's wisdom astounds me at times. He knew I was not ready for all that responsibility back then. I have changed SO much since my early-mid twenties.

There have been times that maybe we did act a little more like a 3 year old wanting a toy before Christmas, thawing a temper-tantrum or two before our Father; but, all-in-all we knew that giving into temptation would just lessen the value of what God had for us. Now, please let me define "blessing." This does not mean that if you do all God asks of you, you will receive what you dream of. Blessing from God may not come in the package you think it should. You could be blessed with poverty. I know that sounds crazy but poverty may be what puts you into the place for God to use you. Ok...I'm taking a tangent onto one of my soap boxes...I'll save some of those rants for another day & maybe for my other blog. ;)

Back to topic, I guess the main thing about this verse is that we have waited on the Lord. We may not have felt as willing to wait some days but we continued. And He has heard our hearts cry.

2 He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
   out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
   making my steps secure.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
   a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
   and put their trust in the LORD.
 4 Blessed is the man who makes
   the LORD his trust,
who does not turn to the proud,
   to those who go astray after a lie!
5 You have multiplied, O LORD my God,
   your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
   none can compare with you!
I will proclaim and tell of them,
   yet they are more than can be told.
 6 In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted,
   but you have given me an open ear.[a]
Burnt offering and sin offering
   you have not required.
7 Then I said, “Behold, I have come;
   in the scroll of the book it is written of me:
8 I delight to do your will, O my God;
   your law is within my heart.”

Christ has given us a new life. Beyond, putting a "new song" in our mouth for each other, He has rescued us from our own sin, from the pit of Hell. He has secured us in his saving grace & mercy and we are assured of our salvation so strongly we will not "go astray after a lie."

I have several times in my growing relationship with Christ came close to following a lie...many in the guise of performing a work to grow deeper with Christ such as very nearly taking up the practice of contemplative prayer or lecto divina (again, two practices I plan on writing about on my other blog). However, God has been sharpening my discernment & has protected me from chasing after lies. He has a lot of work still to do with me, with both of us. But, from where I began to where I am today,  how he has done such a miraculous thing in my soul, I cannot begin to explain or put into words, I can't even begin to understand. "They are more than can be told."

9 I have told the glad news of deliverance[b] 
   in the great congregation; 
behold, I have not restrained my lips, 
   as you know, O LORD. 
10 I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; 
   I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; 
I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness 
   from the great congregation.
This is what I really need to read. I use to almost be ashamed of being a Christian. I didn't like to talk about Christ & what He had done for me. I don't think I really felt as though He was real. I guess I almost thought more of Him as a distant being, just watching me from afar, not thrilled with me but also not too worried about me cause I really wasn't "that bad." My theology was so bad. I knew nothing of the Bible. It just wasn't real for me. When I finally started reading the Bible & taking it for what it said & not trying to mould it into what I thought & believed, Christ started becoming real to me. I started openly talking about it. I was...am excited about what He was/has been doing in my life. I was becoming a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17). I want to continue to be a witness for Christ. I'm not great at it & I have a LOT of work to do. I'm not really sure you ever feel learned enough...in fact, I think the more I learn, the more ignorant I realize I am. However, the more I learn about the Trinity, the more I want to share & the less apprehensive I become. I would love for the Lord to one day use me in a full time capacity...but I'll wait patiently. ;)
  11 As for you, O LORD, you will not restrain 
   your mercy from me;
your steadfast love and your faithfulness will
   ever preserve me!
12 For evils have encompassed me
   beyond number;
my iniquities have overtaken me,
   and I cannot see;
they are more than the hairs of my head;
   my heart fails me.
 13 Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me!
   O LORD, make haste to help me! 
As my relationship with Christ deepens, the reality & wretchedness of my sins becomes even clearer. How & why Jesus would chose to die a horrible death for such an unclean mess of a human, I'll never clearly understand. It is His greatest miracle of all (Romans 5:6-11).
14 Let those be put to shame and disappointed altogether
   who seek to snatch away my life;
let those be turned back and brought to dishonor
   who delight in my hurt!
15 Let those be appalled because of their shame
   who say to me, “Aha, Aha!”
There are people you encounter when speaking about Christ's saving grace that do not agree with you. They adamantly oppose your views & beliefs, however, still remain respectful & kind & love you. Then, there are ones who oppose your views so fiercely that they are cruel, mean-spirited, down right evil to the point they want to injure or kill you. We do not see much persecution to that point here in America yet but there are places in the world that sharing the Gospel is a death sentence. And, don't think we are all so sophisticated & tolerant here in the old USA; hostility to Christians is on the rise in America. In many universities today, if you hold to Biblical Christianity you are called ignorant, intolerant, & hateful. In the last 10 years or so, there has been an increase in Christian's loosing their jobs because they refused to conform to the world. Recently, a Macy's employee was fired because she told a man (who claimed to be a transvestite) he could not use the women's dressing room. (Ugh, there I go on another soap box.)

16 But may all who seek you 
   rejoice and be glad in you; 
may those who love your salvation 
   say continually, “Great is the LORD!” 
17 As for me, I am poor and needy, 
   but the Lord takes thought for me. 
You are my help and my deliverer; 
   do not delay, O my God!
What a wonderful way to end. I don't think that last bit needs any comment whatsoever.

This whole passage reminds me of the hymn "Blessed Assurance," which is actually based on Hebrews 10:22 but still applies here, in my opinion. I use to do quality assurance tests on our CT scanner when I worked nights. Everytime I would pull out that binder, I would go along with my task singing that old hymn.

vs.1Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

Refrain:This is my story, this is my song,praising my Savior all the day long;this is my story, this is my song,praising my Savior all the day long.vs.2Perfect submission, perfect delight!
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

(Refrain)vs.3Perfect submission, all is at rest!
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with his goodness, lost in His love.

 Even though I'm not really a fan of Third Day, I do like their rendition of this song.

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