Scripture: “In my distress I called to the Lord and He answered me. Deliver me, O Lord, from lying lips; from a deceitful tongue.” Psalm 120:1-2
“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2
Observation: To whom is the Psalmist declaring these two Psalms? It looks obvious on one side, not so obvious on another.
Application: These two Psalms have all the flavor of a journal or diary entry—at least that is what they appear.
If I put myself in the Psalmist’s seat, what am I seeing? What am I thinking? Why am I speaking what the Psalmist is speaking? I think I see a few things:I am speaking to my heart; to the face in the mirror.
- I am reminding myself of His faithfulness. Why?
- Because these are possibly words of personal distress.
I can see me saying these things with gritted teeth, forcing the words in confession and intention. I am telling my heart these truths because somehow these truths need to overcome the reality crushing in on me.
I remember a previous Psalm: “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God for I shall again praise Him…” (Ps 42:5) These Psalms feel the same way, especially the words “Deliver me O Lord from lying lips, from a deceitful tongue”—I could be talking about my own mouth here.
I should remember to look at scriptures like these and put myself in them first way before I assign them to something or someone else. Remembering what God says His objective with me is “…For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son…” (Ro 8:29a). If this is so, and the Scripture indicates it is, then much of the distress I am involved with is for a personal and holy purpose and not the “fault” of any exterior circumstance.
Heady stuff. And I am only scratching the surface of understanding…I certainly have not arrived.
Pursuing God is not always easy. Whom am I kidding? Mortifying sin is easy? Not at all. But whatever burden it is the burden is light. Stay yoked.
Prayer: Thanks, Lord God. Journaling makes thinking about the Scriptures something that I cannot avoid. I have to say that all of these have been valuable to me. Thank You for your specific and faithful care all my days. AMEN.