For my soul is full of trouble and my life draws near the grave.
What a good description this is for those times of emotional and spiritual turmoil, when everything is in upheaval. But…look at verses 1 and 2 : O Lord, the God who saves me, day and night I cry out before you. May my prayer come before you; turn your ear to my cry. The one who wrote this psalm knows there is only one place to go and that is to cast yourself at the feet of the Lord, waiting there until He calms the winds and waves of the storm in your soul.
Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.
I considered, “What constitutes an undivided heart?” I would think it would be a heart that is always set to choose the things of God in any circumstance. It is a heart that chooses to be free of the pollution of sin in the world – in movies, books, and in conversation. It is a heart that chooses honesty, purity, and chooses to believe the best of others, not thirsting after gossip or a bad report. It is a heart that seeks always to please God. Who does David call on to teach him and to give him this undivided heart? None other than the Lord Himself. It is God Who will teach us His ways so we can walk with Him. It is God Who will give us an undivided heart that we may fear His Name. The God of the universe, keeping time, space, seasons, and even the breath of man, is pleased to teach and to give if only we will ask.
You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you.
God IS love, and it abounds, but look at the qualifier…”to all who call to you.” Then, David sets the example by calling on God, and testifying that God will answer. Ahhhh…the answer. This is where we question God’s timing sometimes, but God doesn’t always answer a specific request the way we have asked. Sometimes, the answer is granted while we wait, sometimes God re-directs our question, and often, God answers in a totally unexpected way. “In the day of trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me.” (vs. 7) We give Him praise.
Righteousness goes before him and prepares the way for his steps.
I am a very visual person, so picture with me if you will, righteousness going before the Lord, preparing the way for his steps. Clearing a path, setting stepping stones, so that God, Who is all Holiness and Righteousness, never walks anywhere that isn’t righteous.
Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
What a wonderful application we can make of this for the Christian. We are on a pilgrimage through this world, headed for the courts of the Lord. As we pass through the Valley of Baca – literally, the valley of weeping trees – we change it from a place of sorrow to a place of bubbling springs. We do not go from day to day or from struggle to struggle, but we go from strength to strength till each one appears before God in his dwelling place. vs. 5 says these are the ones who are blessed because their strength is in You. What a great job to have on this earth – turning deserts of sorrow into valleys with bubbling springs, meeting each new facet of life with strength, knowing the source of that strength is the Lord, and showing His way to others.
I am very excited to tell you that my Internet has been restored. Look for Encouragement Vitamins Friday Mornings and Monday mornings starting tomorrow.