“But as a mountain falls and crumbles away, And as a rock is moved from its place; As water wears away stones, And as torrents wash away the soil of the earth; So You destroy the hope of man” (Job 14:18-19 NKJV). By the time we read the headlines, see network TV News, watch destructive TV shows or dismal movies, or listen to our dreary “friends,” it’s no wonder that “depression” has enveloped our land. Job voiced the danger of being surrounded by downers! But if we listen to God: Romans 15:13: “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing.” Christians learn to speak like Paul, “We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair” (2 Corinthians 4:8 NKJV).
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.
This Psalm of David may well have been written from the cave of Adullam, while King Saul pursued him to kill him (1 Samuel 22:1).
Verses 1-3 picture the “caveman” mindset;
Verses 4-7 show the difference between refuge and prison.
Verses 1-3: “Cry out” indicates his desperate situation, “supplication” is a prayer presenting a problem to God, but asking for help with it. David’s “complaint” is not with God, but a presentation of his “trouble” that he would “pour out.” David’s “spirit was overwhelmed within” him, more than once (Psalm 61:2; 77:3; 143:4). This perfectly expresses what we all feel like sometimes when life is too much to handle! Jesus shows how not to let this get to us. “For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls” (Hebrews 12:3).
Verses 4-7: Before David’s men gathered to him, he knew “no one who acknowledges” him, his insecurity noted that “refuge has failed” him. In complete despair, he said: “No one cares for my soul.” Jesus reached this moment, for on His way to the cross, “they all forsook Him and fled” (Mark 14:50). Paul had this moment, for he said: “At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me” (2 Timothy 4:16). The common thread woven through these faithful men is the LORD never left them: David “cried out to You, O LORD” (Psalm 142:5); “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit” (Luke 23:46); “the Lord stood with me and strengthened me” (2 Timothy 4:17). God was David’s “portion in the land of the living.” As long as David was alive, God was with him. When “persecutors” seem “stronger than I,” never forget God, for He never forgets us. Life can become our “prison,” but once released from this “very low” time, we are freed to “praise” God, and enjoy the fellowship of the “righteous” who “shall surround” us. God abundantly blesses those faithful to Him. Joseph was released from a dungeon through God’s gift of interpretation of dreams (Genesis 39-41); Samson through his renewed covenant strength (Judges 16:21-31); Jesus releases people from their prison of sin (Isaiah 42:5-7; Luke 4:14-21); the Apostles were set free to preach Jesus (Acts 5:17-25). Everyone who remains faithful to God in whatever prison they find themselves, must learn they are not alone.
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.
This is Just-A-Minute. I once sat with a brokenhearted lady who poured out her fears and foreboding: “God will never forgive me”, she said, “I have so sinned.” I knew her as a godly Christian woman, one whom I respected and admired for her good heart and works. So why did she feel such despair? She had been sexually abused as a child and could feel nothing but bitter filthiness and self-loathing those many years later. I tried to convince her that God willingly forgives those with a contrite spirit and a broken heart such as hers. I doubt I succeeded. Yet while she struggles with presumed hopelessness, others revel in vileness and practice despicable sins with no regard and no shame. How long, O Lord, how long before You come to judge with righteous judgment those who have spent their lives in dissipation? Jesus, Savior today, but Judge tomorrow!