Be gracious to me, O Lord; see my affliction from those who hate me, You who lift me up from the gates of death, that I may tell of all Your praises …. For the needy will not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the afflicted perish forever. Arise, O Lord, do not let man prevail. Psalm 9:13-14A, 18-19A
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
Even though we are much more than just physical human beings, we are physical human beings. As such, we live in a very real physical world and it is only natural that we want life on the physical level to go smoothly. Who doesn’t want at least adequate income, housing, transportation, employment, nourishment, education/training, recreation, etc.? Who doesn’t want good relationships with parents, siblings, extended family, spouse, children, neighbors, co-workers, etc.? But sometimes things go south for us and the “adequate” and “good” seem quite a way “up” from the depths into which we have gone “down.” How are things going for you right now in your relationships? Have things gone “south” for you in one or more of your relationships?
In today’s passage, things have gone way “south” for the Psalmist in some of his relationships. He says to the Lord, “see my affliction from those who hate me.” Sometimes things go so far down for us in a relationship that the thought of “good” escapes us and we just want the “bad” to stop. This is where the Psalmist is when he cries out to God, “Be gracious to me.” David is the Psalmist and he knows how to “lift up his soul to God.” For David, God is not merely someone to fix the problems of human life. David’s relationship with God is so much more than this and David is so much more than a mere physical human being because of it. However, in today’s Psalm David is at a spot where all he can do is lift up his affliction to the Lord because the pain and suffering he is experiencing from the hatred of others is so intense and so long lasting.
David’s affliction from those who hate him is so severe, he fears for his life. He knows that God is the one who throughout his life has “lifted him up from the gates of death.” David wants to remain here in this physical world and so he appeals to the Lord to “lift him up” above this kind of danger once again. David is calling on God to be gracious because he wants the bad to stop and he wants to stay alive. But even though he is overwhelmed, he is still able to stay in touch with his primary reason for being here on earth. David says, “that I may tell of all Your praises.” This is why David is confident that “the needy will not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the afflicted perish forever.” And this is why, he boldly says, “Arise, O Lord, do not let man prevail." Deep down in the midst of all the pain and suffering of his affliction from those who hate him, he knows God will prevail over his adversaries so that he may continue to be alive and fully tell of all God’s praises to the world around him.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, I do want to “lift up my soul” to you so that I can enjoy your presence and experience the great sense of well-being that comes from being with you. But right now, I am so needy and afflicted, I can hardly look up. Please be gracious to me. Don’t let the affliction I am experiencing from others prevail. I ask that you would prevail and bring the “bad” to an end. Raise me up once again so that “I may tell of all your praises.” Be gracious to me, O Lord. Amen!
Posted on Tue, August 23, 2016
by Alan Porter