Today’s Lectio Divina: Excerpts from Psalm 56. (MsgB)
A David psalm, when he was captured by the Philistines in Gath
Take my side, God—I’m getting kicked around, stomped on every day.
Not a day goes by but somebody beats me up;
They make it their duty to beat me up.
When I get really afraid, I come to You in trust.
You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights,
Each tear entered in Your ledger, each ache written in Your book.
Let’s face it, my dear friends.
Life, at times, can truly suck.
Days when we are captured by our personalized band of Philistines and beaten to a pulp.
Days when the sun doesn’t rise and the night never ends.
Days when you feel like someone else’s punching bag, taking one blow after another.
King David, a man after God’s own heart, had days like this. I’m sure that falling into the hands of Philistines was not exactly what King David had in mind for himself. Who would?
Philistines hated Jews. Jews hated Philistines.
Philistines used big guys like Goliath to pound on Jews. God’s Word tells us that David decided one day that he has had enough and went out with a five smooth stones to knock off Goliath. While that day was a very good one for David and his friends, this day (Psalm 56), when he falls into the hands of those same angry Philistines, was definitely not!
And through it all, God looks down on the war and records David’s tears. Counts them, one by one. Grabs them before they hit the ground and lets them drip off His holy hand onto the pages of David’s personalized book of life.
Pages so drenched in tears that they have a hard time staying intact.
But, as I see it, God’s personalized book on my life has a very strong binding, so fear not. Even though there are many pages in my book that are soaked with my tears, the ending is still clear. The big finale will top all the high drama that precedes it. The aches and pains of this life will all be trumped with the closing chapter written exclusively for me by the Author of Life.
In truth, in my personalized book of tears, Jesus of Nazareth comes in at the very end and rescues me from my Philistines. Binds up my brokenness. Bandages up my cuts and wounds. Dries my remaining tears. Replaces my tattered clothes with a robe of His righteousness. Takes me from the trash bin and places me in His Holy Palace.
Ahh yes, my friends. My personalized book of tears is absolutely guaranteed to have one happy ending. When my Rescuing King finally comes, we’ll sit down together and review the entire story, from beginning (Alpha) to the end (Omega).
And at that time, I’ll know with great certainty that my Redeemer lives!
My prayer: Father, looking through my personalized book of tears is not a pleasant task. Like King David, there are days when my enemies seem to have the upper hand. But thank You, that these very painful days are not the final results. With You in the picture, I can hold on, knowing the end of the story will turn out so much better. For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: So on those days when I fall into the hands of my personalized Philistines, how can I allow God to comfort me and reassure me that this is not the final chapter? Which page of tears is trying to convince me otherwise today?
So what is God speaking to you today as you ponder the Psalms?
Over a 50-week period, you and I will take a deeper look at The Psalms: God’s Songbook of Prayers. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Contemplating the Psalms home page for ease of use. Keep in mind that one of the best ways to explore the on-going applications of this blog series is to walk alongside a biblically-based, Christ-centered spiritual director who is familiar with how to make material like this part of your overall spiritual formation in God. Many of our directors in our Sustainable Faith-Heartland network are available to companion you in your journey with Jesus. Click here for more info.
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