Sunday, January 20, 2008

God Moves In A Mysterious Way

Psalms – 150 Psalms, David wrote 73 according to the superscriptions. This week’s focus is Psalm 7.

Psalm 7: The superscription says that this Psalm is a Shiggaion of David, which he sang to the Lord concerning Cush, a Benjamite. Shiggaion is a term derived from the verb which means “to err” or “to wander.” It might also mean “wild” or “ecstatic.” It’s a poem written with intense feeling, a lament to stir the emotions. It’s a request to God for justice against those who make slanderous comments.

OT Background: Justice is a priority in the Bible. We often think of justice where God will punish sinners. However, we see that justice includes helping those that either can’t help themselves or are under a hardship. Please read Exodus 22:22, 23:6-9, Deuteronomy 24:10-15, 19-22, Amos 2:6-8, 5:24, Isaiah 1:17, Psalm 82:3-4.

Life Question: What does God want me to do about the injustice I encounter?

Seek Refuge in God
Please read Psalm 7:1-2 – We don’t know the identity of Cush the Benjamite. When Saul falsely accused David of plotting to take his throne (1 Samuel 18 - 19), David had to flee Saul. David could have written this Psalm at that time as Saul was from the tribe of Benjamin. When we are threatened or even mildly persecuted, we tend to retaliate or lash out in revenge. But what does David do? He turns to the LORD. David knew how to guard sheep against wild animals, including lions. Please read 1 Samuel 17:34-35. David knew that words could tear him like a lion, ripping him apart. David felt like a sheep being stalked by a lion when the shepherd was not near to help and deliver him. He felt vulnerable.

Evaluate Your Heart (Actions)
Please read Psalm 7:3-5 – One key step in responding to verbal attacks is to step back and honestly examine our life to see if the criticism is true. Sometimes God can use others to confront us with the truth that we have refused to admit, like where Nathan confronted David with his sins and David listened to the truth. But these “if” statements in verses 3 through 5 are showing some of the accusations against David. David admits that if the statements are true, then he deserves what the enemies want to do to him.

[Contemporary Injustice Assertion Beginning]

This is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, so we should take a moment to go over some contemporary issues. Please reread Isaiah 1:17. Let’s cover some injustices in the U.S. that are evident. The Declaration of Independence states the following:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

The U.S. Constitution states the following:
"We the People of the Unites States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice . . . and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity . . . ."

and "Representatives . . . shall be apportioned . . . by adding to the whole number of free persons . . . [and] three fifths of all other Persons."

Why did we count some people as only 60% of a person? This situation got rectified in the 13th and 14th Amendments, where the 13th Amendment ended slavery in 1865 and the 14th Amendment, Section 2 counted every person as a whole person in 1868. There is a parallel to this situation in the abortion debate today. People are unwilling to define a preborn baby as a person. What part person is the preborn baby? 25%? 50%? Do we base the percentage on a fraction of 40 weeks? Or do we refuse to admit the baby is a person at all? There is really no justification whatsoever to deny the 100% personhood of a preborn child. We have a responsibility to protect those that can’t protect themselves. Otherwise, we could be guilty of sins of omission. All human life is equally important.

If you feel strongly about this abortion issue, please note that the State of Georgia was mentioned this week (1/14/2008) in a U.S. News & World Report article, New Abortion Wars: An age-old fight is heating up in the states. The Constitutional Amendment is attempting to declare a fertilized egg "a person" who enjoys "inalienable rights, equality of justice, and due process of law." This proposed Amendment is known as the "Personhood Amendment" and is planned to be on the ballot in Georgia in the 2008 election.

[Contemporary Injustice Assertion End]

Call For His Justice
Please read Psalm 7:6-11 – We can bring our sins before God, confess them, and be forgiven. In this manner, we can be declared righteous even though we are sinners. Notice the words “justice, judge, righteousness, and righteous.” Our English word for “justice” emphasizes judgment that is fair and impartial. The Hebrew word also increasingly included a judgment based on mercy and compassion for the poor and homeless (aliens, dispossessed). Sometimes with all the injustice, we don’t know what to pray for and the Holy Spirit will intercede on our behalf. Please read Romans 8:26-27.

Rely on God to Respond with Righteousness (Not in Book)
Please read Psalm 7:12-17 – verses 14-16 are showing that people reap what they sow. But unfortunately in that process, innocent people can get hurt. And sometimes, God allows evil to continue even though innocent people are hurt. But how does David end the Psalm in verse 17? With thanks to the Lord because of His righteousness. We have to put our trust in God and His righteous judgment. God will execute final justice, even if it is not during our lifetime.

1 comment:

Paige B. said...

It is sometimes difficult to stop and ask God for His justice. We as humans tend to try to fix things on our own. It is good to be reminded that God is there and He expects us to call on him.
thanks for your post,