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

Thursday, May 16, 2013

May 16 - Psalms 3-4, 12-13, 28, and 55: David Faces His Punishment with Cries for Salvation

Today’s Reading: Psalms 3-4, 12-13, 28, and 55

The Message

English Standard Version

Thought to Guide Your Reading

David's own best friends are turning against him.

Psalm (P)Synopsis

Psalm 3

David runs from his enemies who come from nowhere. However, God will be his protector and allow him to sleep well. He wishes for God to help him.

Psalm 4

David once again needs God's help. He complains to his enemies—how long will they keep this up? David gets more joy in his life in God than they could ever get with their shopping trips.

Psalm 12

David is now alone. All have turned against him. He cries for his enemies to be punished. God's words will both purify him and keep him safe from the wicked.

Psalm 13

David is growing impatient with God. He is ready to be rescued.

Psalm 28

David calls out to God in his time of need. He does not want to be lumped in with the serial evildoers because they are so different than him. God is his strength and David wants God to save His Chosen People.

Psalm 55

David needs God to hear his prayer because his enemies are dividing his land. His betrayers are his inner circle of friends. He knows God will hear and answer his prayers. David tells others to cast their cares on God because He will help them and punish the wicked.

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

David faces his perceived punishment by calling out to God to help him.

Yesterday we read David's interpretation of these events. He does not know if he is being punished by God or not. Even if these are the wages of his sin, he still calls out to God to save him. He knows God is the only one who can help him through these trials and punish those who have conspired against him. Call out to God to set things right, even if you feel you are in the midst of God's punishment.

David wants his enemies to trust in God to bring justice.

In an odd utterance, David tells his enemies,
Complain if you must, but don’t lash out.
Keep your mouth shut, and let your heart do the talking.
Build your case before God and wait for his verdict. (4:4-5, The Message)
The strange part of his call is that David could be found guilty of these crimes. However, he knows God is just and God will only punish David if he is guilty. Tell your enemies to trust in God—even if it means punishing you.

David is in great emotional stress.

Notice the hyperbole of asking God to "Slice [the liars'] lips off their faces!" (12:3, The Message). David is greatly troubled because his once-certain and safe throne has been violently torn from him by his own son. These are not the words of a cool, calm, calculating man. They are the emotional pleadings from a scared, betrayed follower of God.

David wants to stay away from evildoers because they do not understand God's way.

David is worried that he will be put in the same place as these "full-time employees of evil" (28:3, The Message). The reason is not because they are below him or are somehow inferior to him. It is because they do not understand the God David serves. David wants his freedom because He knows God will punish these people and does not want any part of it.
Many churches today have lost this idea of why separation is needed. Churches are thought of as "holier than thou"—not explicitly but by default. They are seen as separatist because they want to live in their "holy clique" or "holy cult" because they think they are too rich, too high-class, or too good for "normal" people. Churches combat the "holier than thou" attitude (perceived or not) by openly telling that any separation is because of a lack of common ground.

Do you have common ground with God?

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