Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Another P-slammer

Last week, I posted this.
And I accidentally spelled Psalm - Pslam.
Everyone was kind to ignore glaring typo.

And Jess said that post really p-slammed her.
Which is awesome, because most of these psalms are pslamming me as well. 

Well, the other morning I was reading Psalm 139.
It's kind of a biggie.
A lot of familiar scripture.
Often quoted.

I have a tendency to skim over the biggies, trying to find insight in the less popular Psalms.
Mostly because I think I am smart and already "get it".
So. 
Not.
True.

But 139 was the last chapter on Friday's 5-a-day reading - and I couldn't put it down.
I read through it.
And then had to read it again.
And one more time.
And then back again.
So much of this passage was speaking to my heart.

A conversation with a friend last week, who said she was feeling distant from God. Not because of any grievous sin, or disobedience. But maybe just a sense of apathy?
I was right there with her.

And there were verses 7 and 8, I have sung songs of these verses, read them over and over, quoted them to others...but today they really meant something.



God isn't distant. He is here. Alive, and present.
Even if I am fleeing Him.
Ignoring Him.
Disobeying Him.
He is still there.
He isn't the one who has gone anywhere.
In fact, He is wherever WE go. God and his presence isn't conditional upon my action. Perhaps I just need to open my eyes a little wider, shine the light a little brighter, and SEE Him present.
In each moment.
In every place I am.

And verses 13 and 14 are often read and quoted for new life, precious little ones. And yes they encourage me!

But I really like verse 16,

   
I love the way it is phrased, "in your book were written" - it leaves me hanging - and I say - WHAT? What was written? "The days that were formed for me"!Oh, THAT! So cool. My days are written in God's book?

And then 21-24, David, he asks some good questions of himself. Does he hate those who hate the Lord? Does he loathe those who rise up against you?

 

He asks those questions of himself.
Solidly affirms that yes, he does hate those who hate the Lord.
He counts them as his enemies.
But he makes me think, do I hate those things?
Would my response be so certain?

And I love the word he uses here - TRY.
As in TRY ME.
Put me on trial.
Put my thoughts on trial.
Yikes.
Would they be able to stand?
I know, on my own, they would not.
Almost never.
Is there any grievous way in me?
Too often there is.

Convicting.

God speaks vividly through the Psalms.
He is present. Even when I don't notice Him.
He know each of my days, and in fact he has them all in his book.
And, I am encouraged, to live my life in a way that it could be put on trial.
That my thoughts and ways could be searched. 

And I am thankful for Jesus, who will stand before me at that trial, and say "I paid for this one". He takes on my guilt. He pays my debt, before the court of God.

And I stand before God the father, clean, innocent, and declared not guilty.

That is truly grace.

 
PSALM 139
[Search Me, O God, and Know My Heart]
[TO THE CHOIRMASTER. A PSALM OF DAVID.]
    O LORD, you have searched me and known me!
    You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    you discern my thoughts from afar.
    You search out my path and my lying down
    and are acquainted with all my ways.
    Even before a word is on my tongue,
    behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.
    You hem me in, behind and before,
    and lay your hand upon me.
    Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
        it is high; I cannot attain it.
    Where shall I go from your Spirit?
    Or where shall I flee from your presence?
    If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
    If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
    If I take the wings of the morning
    and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
    even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me.
    If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
    and the light about me be night,”
    even the darkness is not dark to you;
    the night is bright as the day,
        for darkness is as light with you.
    For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
    I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
    Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
    My frame was not hidden from you,
    when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
    Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
    in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
        when as yet there was none of them.
    How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
    If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
        I awake, and I am still with you.
    Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God!
    O men of blood, depart from me!
    They speak against you with malicious intent;
    your enemies take your name in vain.
    Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD?
    And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
    I hate them with complete hatred;
        I count them my enemies.
    Search me, O God, and know my heart!
    Try me and know my thoughts!
    And see if there be any grievous way in me,
        and lead me in the way everlasting!
(Psalm 139 ESV)

Linking up with Jami, a day late again....


8 comments:

  1. the kids and i were just reading from psalm 139 this a.m. it is a favorite. God brought it to life almost 11 years ago in a personal, lovely way for me.

    http://victoryrd.blogspot.com/2010/09/calebs-story.html

    http://victoryrd.blogspot.com/2010/09/if-i-had-known-then-what-i-know-now.html

    http://victoryrd.blogspot.com/2010/09/burls-prayer.html

    http://victoryrd.blogspot.com/2010/09/what-to-expect-when-your-not-expecting.html


    but today reading this i realize that the scripture isn't reserved just for that story in my life, but for today. God searches me and knows me right here right now (and i'm kind of a mess right now). BUT He is alive, not distant, present now. and I NEED to KNOW that in my core today.

    thank you kim.

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  2. Thanks for coming over to introduce yourself! Yes, Denise is so funny. :)

    And thanks for this post. It really encouraged my heart. I have struggled with chronic illness for quite a while now and God can seem so very distant. These are such good reminders and promises!

    And Happy Blogiversary! :)

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  3. Right there with you on the apathy. I really want to focus my passion and love for God lately but life always seems to get in the way.. not actually but you know how we humans make excuses.

    One thing I really miss is the open honesty we seemed to begin to have from our former womens study group... :(

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  5. so good, kim! thanks for sharing. i agree with em. may we return to our first love!

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  6. I love you! Even though you are always a day late, it's always worth it, hahahahaha. One of my favorite Psalms, and yes, too often there is a grievous way in me. He is always faithful to shine the light on it!

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