Tuesday, January 7, 2014

"The LORD will hear me when I call …"

Day #11:  Daily Bible Reading - January 8th

Scripture Reading:  Psalms 3 - 5 …

Whoever thinks that God deals with all people the same has never read the Psalms and does not understand God's love for His people, for those who know Him and who trust in Him.  It could probably be said of David, or of the writers of the rest of the Psalms, that they were "judging" people, but what they were doing in writing these Psalms and what the people of Israel were doing in singing these Psalms was simply stating what God had said:  that He hears the calls of His people and will deliver them from those who do evil.  That's His promise!

A common theme of the Psalmist is crying out to God for help against his enemies.  Those who know God have enemies, in this world and in the spiritual realm.  As David writes, "Many are saying of me, 'God will not deliver him'" (3:2).  But David responds, "But you are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head" (3:3).  He goes on to say that he lies down and sleeps and does not fear because of his confidence in the Lord and His promised deliverance.  What a wonderful thing to know, to live, to experience!

David knows the LORD will answer him because "the LORD has set apart the godly for himself" (4:3).  How often do we get stressed and worried and anxious, and then we get angry at the injustice of it all.  But God says, "In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent" (4:4).  Don't question God or doubt Him.  "Offer right sacrifices and TRUST in the LORD" (4:5).  David has experienced the peace of God and so he can confess:  "I will lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, O LORD make me dwell in safety" (4:8).

We continually need to check our hearts and ask ourselves if we are really trusting in God.  Fear, worry, anxiety, doubt, confusion and all the negative emotions that go with them are not from the Spirit of God.  Even more than the Psalmist, we who believe in Jesus Christ know the love of God for His children and the grace He has given us.  We dwell in safety because God is with us!

What a beautiful statement when he says, "In the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation" (5:3).  Only when you seek God first can you experience that peace that comes from knowing that "in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28).

Listen to what David prays for:  "Lead me, O LORD, in Your righteousness because of my enemies - make straight YOUR way before me" (5:8).  David doesn't want to be pulled to the right or to the left, or to be deceived by the lies of those around him.  "Let all who take refuge in YOU be glad; let them ever sing for joy.  Spread your protection over them, that those who love Your name may rejoice in YOU!" (5:11).

Let that be your prayer every day and discover the "peace of God, which transcends all understanding" (Philippians 4:7).  David's God is our God.  He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  And through His Son Jesus Christ He is "Immanuel, God with us."  Draw near to Him today; know that He hears you when you call, and trust in Him … TRUST in Him, and He will deliver you from fear and replace it with peace.  REST in Him and find joy that you can find nowhere else.    "The LORD will hear when I call to Him" (4:3).

"O LORD God Almighty, You are my Rock and my Fortress, my Shield and Defender.  I trust in You, let me not be put to shame.  Surround me with Your love and grace, for I rest in You.  Thank You for hearing me when I call out to You in the name of Your Son, Jesus.  Let the light of Your face shine upon me as I seek You, today and every day.  In Jesus' name, Amen"

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