Thursday, May 5, 2016

"The LORD will hear me when I call ..."

Day #127

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 by His grace and the work of His Spirit know Him and trust in Him.  It could probably be said of David and of the writers of the rest of the Psalms, that they were "judging" people.  Certainly, by today’s standards, they would be accused of doing so.  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 real enemies, both in this world and in the spiritual realm.  As David writes the words of Psalm 3 he is literally fighting his enemies, including his own son, Absalom, who is attempting to take his throne!  As he fled from his enemies others were taunting him, as he describes in verse 2: "Many are saying of me, 'God will not deliver him.'"  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 depended on God in a way that so few others then or now seem to do.  He states firmly, “From the LORD comes deliverance!” (3:8).  One of the great benefits of reading through the Old Testament accounts of those who trusted in God is in seeing the miraculous deliverance He so often provided to those who called out to Him.  He does the same today for those who call out to Him in the name of Jesus, the Christ.  Jesus URGED His disciples to ask the Father in His name and He would give them what they asked.  The Apostle John writes in I John 5:14-15:  “This is the confidence we have in approaching God:  that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of Him.”

God has PROMISED to deliver His children from evil.  He has PROMISED to hear the cries of those who call out to Him in the name of Jesus.  His deliverance sometimes comes through His removing the problem.  Praise God when that happens!  His deliverance sometimes comes by giving us strength to endure the trial.  Praise God when THAT happens!  And His deliverance sometimes comes even in the “sleep” of death as God calls one of His children to Himself, leaving the body to enter into His presence.  However God provides deliverance for you, KNOW that He hears you when you pray and that He WILL deliver you.  He is faithful to His promises and to His people.

David knows the LORD will answer him because "the LORD has set apart the godly for himself" (4:3).  How often do people get stressed and worried and anxious, and then get angry at the injustice of it all.  I have even heard people who testify of their faith in Jesus Christ claim that God let them down or disappointed them.  That is not a good place to be or to stay.  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).

You and I continually need to check our hearts and ask ourselves if we are really trusting in God.  Do I really believe that He CAN deliver me and do I really believe that He WILL deliver me?  Often, the problem is that I want to tell God HOW to deliver me, and WHEN to deliver me.  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!

The Apostle Paul encouraged the believers in Rome when he wrote, “We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character hope.  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us” (Romans 5:2-5).  There are so many examples of God’s deliverance in His Word and in the lives of His people!

If you want to know a good way to start your morning, read David’s statement in 5:3, "In the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation."  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).  Notice, this is a promise for those who know Him as “Abba, Father.”

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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