Discover His heart: He hears our desperate cries for help and rescues us by His saving power
@ Psalm 69
“Save me, O God, for the floodwaters are up to my neck. Deeper and deeper I sink into the mire; I can’t find a foothold…” (1-2) Talk about a sinking feeling! Whenever I read this Psalm, my mind goes back to a hot summer night in my early teen years. Occasionally on Sunday evenings after church, a group of us gathered at Cedar Lake for a refreshing nighttime swim. I never ventured far from the shore because my swimming ability was mediocre at best, but one night without realizing it I floated out to an area known for drop-offs. When I went to stand, nothing was there! I couldn’t find a foothold and down I went, swallowing half the lake in the process.
Somehow I kicked myself to the surface, gasping for air and flailing in pure panic, and then down again I went. On my third time down, certain that I heard the old hymn, Coming home, coming home. Lord, I’m coming home, I stuck my arm up as high as I could in hopes that someone would see it and rescue me. Obviously, someone did. I felt tight fingers grab my wrist and pull me up out of the deep water. My friend saw my splashing and saved me.
There are moments in life when we feel like we are going down for the third time, panicked and overwhelmed by our situation and not able to find a foothold anywhere. I think perhaps this was how David was feeling in this Psalm. Surrounded by those who hated him without cause (4), even his own brothers, David cried out to God for help from their slander, lies and persecution. He was sinking fast. It’s no wonder this is the most quoted Psalm in the New Testament by the likes of Jesus, Paul, John and Peter, men who understood unjustified persecution. Like me, David was waiting for that hand to reach down and pull him from the deep water and rescue him.
“I endure insults for your sake…Zeal for your house consumes me, and the insults of those who insult you fall on me.” (7,9) Taking a stand for righteousness and for the principles of God often result in hatred and persecution from those who hate God. I remember reading the news report a few years ago of 19 young men gunned down in a Mexican Teen Challenge Center, a place where young men are delivered from drugs and alcohol. The drug lords had their revenge. Each day Christians around the world are persecuted and killed for their faith in God. At times, many of them experience the fear and panic that David expressed.
We hardly know what persecution for one’s faith is like in this country. It usually comes in the form of bias or alienation from neighbors or co-workers, and they can make life very difficult. But make no mistake, many influential leaders hate us because of our faith and would like to stop us or even harm us. The time may come when we feel like the floodwaters are up to our necks as well.
In the days ahead, our strategy should not be to give up and sink. Had I not made a commotion to stay afloat years ago, I would not be here today. Just as my friend responded to my desperate situation, God will respond to our cries for help. “Answer my prayers, O Lord, for your unfailing love is wonderful. Take care of me…come and redeem me; free me from my enemies…Rescue me, O God, by your saving power.”(16,18,29)
Moving Forward: Although some have perished for their faith, I will not give up today. I pray that my desperate cries will cause His hand to reach down and rescue believers everywhere from those who hate and want to do harm.
Tomorrow @ Proverbs 4