Friday, August 7, 2009
A song from a cave
Psalm 57: 1-11 is the "cave" psalm. David pleads to God for mercy because Saul, his enemy is closing in on him I Sam. 22:1. From the shadows of he cave he takes refuge in the shadow of God's wings. I like his play on words: he runs into the cave knowing full well that real refuge is found solely in God.
May I encourage you to continue reading through the Psalm? Sit with David; speak to God through his speech. Internalize his words and make them yours. So when he says, "I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me," own these words because the same God who encircled David in the dampness of that cave, still listens to our prayers, our laments and our pleas for mercy.
David is a realist. He doesn't have a "Pollyannish" view on life that expects God to immunize us from enemies, and trouble. Psalm 57: 4 Rather, he seems to understand that our world and its people are flawed by sin. He does not look for salvation in or through the world. He looks to the Maker of heaven and earth: God will send from heaven and save me, Psalm 57: 3
While he is fully awake to the dangers of the hour they do not restrict the mainspring of his heart: the exaltation and worship of Almighty God. Psalm 57: 5, 10-11. This is what I wish for all of us as we make our pilgrimage through this world filled with danger.
No weapon fashioned against us will succeed, Isaiah 54:17. David believes that the nets and the pits fashioned for his destruction will in the end become a source of punishment for the enemies of God. Psalm 57: 6
Knowing that God is greater than all the plans of evil people, he chooses to be steadfast; he sings; he makes melody right in the cave, that could potentially be his grave. Psalm 57: 7-9
Oh God, the troubles of this world surge high above our heads. We often despair for our safety, and for the safety of those we love. We are not being hunted by Saul, but you have told us that the Devil, like a roaring lion is on the loose, seeking to devour your saints in the world. Like David, we pray for a steadfast heart, a heart filled with signing, melody, and complete trust in you. All that matters for us is that now and for all time, you will be exalted O God above the heavens, on the earth, and in our lives. Amen