Some days God speaks to my heart in quiet moments with gentle Scriptures, subtly touching my heart until I hear. And other times His Word seems to roll over me, invoking my past, present and future like a clap of thunder making my heart quake but sit up and take notice. The last couple of days in our Psalm devotions with Dr. Tim Keller have been so spot on that yesterday’s devotional is this week’s blog (see Books Reference page – The Songs of Jesus, October 16th).
It might be helpful to read the first 20 verses of the 109th Psalm to get caught up with the depth of emotions in David’s cries to Our Father so this devotional has some background.
Psalm 109:21-29. 21 “But You, Sovereign LORD, help me for Your name’s sake; out of the goodness of Your love, deliver me. 22 For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me. 23 I fade away like an evening shadow; I am shaken off like a locust. 24 My knees give way from fasting; my body is thin and gaunt. 25 I am an object of scorn to my accusers; when they see me, they shake their heads. 26 Help me, LORD my God; save me according to your unfailing love. 27 Let them know that it is Your hand, that you, LORD, have done it. 28 While they curse, may you bless; may those who attack me be put to shame, but may Your servant rejoice. 29 May my accusers be clothed with disgrace and wrapped in shame as in a cloak.”
Dr. Keller’s devotional: The phrase “But you, Sovereign LORD” here, as ever in the Psalms, marks a great turning point. Hard prayers become softer, hopeless prayers more confident, sad prayers are filled with joy, and guilty prayers arrive with mercy. Our prayer may rightly begin with our own hurts, sins, enemies, surroundings, troubles. But it is only when you lay these things before God, see them in light of who He is, and say, “But You . . .” – that release, relief, growth, hope, and strength begin to come. The “But You . . .” of the Psalms has its New Testament counterpart in Paul’s great “But now. . . . “ The entire human race is lost in sin (Romans 1:18 – 3:20), “but now apart from the law . . . righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ” (Romans 3:21-22).
PRAYER: Lord, I thank You that Your reality changes everything. I am weak – O, but You … I deserve nothing – O, but You … I don’t see any way out of this – O, but You … My life seems to be derailed – O, but You … I don’t know how to pray. Ah, but you will help me. Amen.
“But YOU, O God.” It shouts to me, “Trust ME!” When trust was not a part of my past, when feelings of abandonment ran rampant, He has patiently shown me His Trustworthiness and says, “Trust ME. I am more than enough; more than you can fathom or imagine.” He is UNFAILING … in Love … in Trust … in Hope … in Mercy. And Ohhhhh so … in Grace. “But YOU, O God!” is my cry when fears and doubt and lies rise up. There is nothing He cannot handle; nothing He will not handle; in His Perfect, All-Knowing time. We were Created To Be Free. “But YOU, O God. But YOU.”