DON’T LEAVE ME THIS WAY
Dear God, you who are just and merciful, give me understanding to do what is, “right and just and fair.” (Proverbs 1:3)
Read PSALM 38
A psalm of David. A petition.
1 Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger
or discipline me in your wrath.
2 Your arrows have pierced me,
and your hand has come down on me.
3 Because of your wrath there is no health in my body;
there is no soundness in my bones because of my sin.
4 My guilt has overwhelmed me
like a burden too heavy to bear.
5 My wounds fester and are loathsome
because of my sinful folly.
6 I am bowed down and brought very low;
all day long I go about mourning.
7 My back is filled with searing pain;
there is no health in my body.
8 I am feeble and utterly crushed;
I groan in anguish of heart.
9 All my longings lie open before you, Lord;
my sighing is not hidden from you.
10 My heart pounds, my strength fails me;
even the light has gone from my eyes.
11 My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds;
my neighbors stay far away.
12 Those who want to kill me set their traps,
those who would harm me talk of my ruin;
all day long they scheme and lie.
13 I am like the deaf, who cannot hear,
like the mute, who cannot speak;
14 I have become like one who does not hear,
whose mouth can offer no reply.
15 Lord, I wait for you;
you will answer, Lord my God.
16 For I said, “Do not let them gloat
or exalt themselves over me when my feet slip.”
17 For I am about to fall,
and my pain is ever with me.
18 I confess my iniquity;
I am troubled by my sin.
19 Many have become my enemies without cause[b];
those who hate me without reason are numerous.
20 Those who repay my good with evil
lodge accusations against me,
though I seek only to do what is good.
21 Lord, do not forsake me;
do not be far from me, my God.
22 Come quickly to help me,
my Lord and my Savior.
- Psalm 38:1 In Hebrew texts 38:1-22 is numbered 38:2-23.
- Psalm 38:19 One Dead Sea Scrolls manuscript; Masoretic Text my vigorous enemies
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reflect‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law’ (Galatians 5:22,23).
Job could have written this psalm. It sums up his situation. Everything is wrong; he feels that God is punishing him; his critics are unsympathetic; he feels feeble and crushed, and God seems absent (v 4).
We might sometimes think God leaves us periodically to our own strength. Our prayer life may not be so strong, or maybe we have been taking God for granted. The apparent absence of God’s blessings and presence may discourage us, but should we hold it against him? Could we see such trials as a blessing that builds spiritual resilience?
Jesus himself was not immune to this: he spent much time in prayer on his own, while frustrated at others’ lack of faith (e.g., Luke 6:12; Mark 9:17–29). Even he wondered why, after three years of ministry, his Father had apparently abandoned him on the cross (Matthew 27:46).
The important word is ’apparently.’ It might seem like God was/is not there, but he always is, and will always pick up his faithful ones and stand them on their feet before him. Prayerful communication and trust between him and us are the key.
Take time to consider God’s place in your heart and your place in his. Where do you stand today? Jesus’ prayer time was a gateway into the precious company of his heavenly Father. It can also be yours.
Mighty God, sometimes the complexities of life overwhelm me. It is trouble upon trouble. Help me in my desperation Lord.
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