God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

April 18 - Psalms 17, 35, 54, and 63: David's Vulnerability before a Caring God - the Essence of Salvation

Today’s Reading: Psalms 17, 35, 54, and 63

The Message

English Standard Version

Thought to Guide Your Reading

These psalms show the vulnerable side of David.

Psalm (P)Synopsis

Psalm 17

David is calling for God's Ear while he defends himself. He wishes for God to test his words to make sure God's way is being done. He states his case against his enemies and wants to see them punished. David will look to God in any result.

Psalm 35

David cries out to God to punish the hecklers, the bullies, the thugs. He wishes to be free from them because they come up from nowhere and bring him down. They party while he is persecuted. David asks that the people who want his best interests have the final say so they together will shout praises to God.

Psalm 54

In this short psalm, David calls on God to help him but realizes God is already there.

Psalm 63

God has been wonderful to David and he cannot get enough of Him! God has protected him and punished his enemies. How great is God!

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

David wants God to examine him first before examining his enemies.

David's call makes himself vulnerable:
Go ahead, examine me from inside out,
   surprise me in the middle of the night—
You’ll find I’m just what I say I am.
   My words don’t run loose.
I’m not trying to get my way
   in the world’s way.
I’m trying to get your way,
   your Word’s way.
I’m staying on your trail;
   I’m putting one foot
In front of the other.
   I’m not giving up. (17:3-5, The Message)
He wants to make sure before his complaints are listened to that he is not calling for their destruction for personal reasons. David wants to make things right because making things right is God's Will. God's Chosen People should first call for their own selves to be examined before examining others.

David does not make his wishes the litmus test for God.

Nowhere does David tell God, "If you don't do these things I will abandon you!" He always couches his cries for justice with expectations of vindication. His praise begins before God saves him. There are no threats or ultimatums. God's Chosen People should praise God for saving them before their salvation comes.
Some scholars can't believe David would be this hopeful and suggest these are written half before and half after the trouble. I disagree because David seems to weave the praise and complaints together in one, large, hopeful psalm.

David wishes for God to stop his persecutors so he will have a chance to continue God's work.

David wants the hecklers, the bullies, and the thugs punished so he will have a chance to celebrate God's great work. He wants to tell everyone how God "puts the down-and-out on their feet / and protects the unprotected" (35:10, The Message). Don't ask God for escape to continue your selfish endeavors. Ask God to release you to sing His praises!

God is already helping David.

In a nice, surprising twist David cries out to God for help as though he were alone; then realizes God is right there helping him all along. Look up! God is helping you already!

David can't get enough of God!

Psalm 63 is so exciting because David comes to see that He cannot live without God—not because he will lack goodness but because he would miss God's Goodness! When we obey God we will become so dependent on His Goodness that to be away from it would be like being away from food and water.

Have you gotten your fill of God's Goodness?

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