BLACK HOLE TO PRAISE
“Praise God who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ” (Eph. 1:3).
Read PSALM 28
1 To you, Lord, I call;
you are my Rock,
do not turn a deaf ear to me.
For if you remain silent,
I will be like those who go down to the pit.
2 Hear my cry for mercy
as I call to you for help,
as I lift up my hands
toward your Most Holy Place.
3 Do not drag me away with the wicked,
with those who do evil,
who speak cordially with their neighbors
but harbor malice in their hearts.
4 Repay them for their deeds
and for their evil work;
repay them for what their hands have done
and bring back on them what they deserve.
5 Because they have no regard for the deeds of the Lord
and what his hands have done,
he will tear them down
and never build them up again.
6 Praise be to the Lord,
for he has heard my cry for mercy.
7 The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise him.
8 The Lord is the strength of his people,
a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.
9 Save your people and bless your inheritance;
be their shepherd and carry them forever.
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.
‘Don’t turn a deaf ear when I call you, God. If all I get from you is deafening silence, I’d be better off in the Black Hole.’1
David journeys from the black hole to confident praise. He begins by requesting that God will hear his prayer (vs 1–5). He asks that God will listen and respond as he lifts his prayers to God’s sanctuary (vs 1,2). Such a prayer applies to any situation of adversity where we yearn for God’s mercy. In verse 3, David pleads that God will not punish him as he does the wicked and he asks God to deal with his adversaries.
David shifts gears in verses 6–9 to praise. His cry of ‘Blessed be the Lord’ (v 6, AV) exalts God. It reminds us of the crowds crying out blessedness to the Son of David who comes in the name of the Lord, in our previous reading. Praise is always the right response to God and his Son. The reason is given: God has heard his plea for mercy. This may suggest that the second half was written later, after God intervened. Or perhaps it is an exclamation of confidence written in anticipation of God’s response. Either way, rightly, David expresses confident praise!
In verses 7 and 8, David declares who God is: ‘my strength … my shield … the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one [the King]’. Knowing this, David trusts, he is helped, he rejoices, and he sings songs of thanks. Prayer for help begets praise as God moves in our situation. Amazingly, the anointed son of David will later go to the cross. He then becomes our refuge! The psalm ends with prayer for God’s salvation, blessing, and shepherding care. All this has now come to pass in Jesus, to whom this psalm can be sung. He is the Anointed one. He finds the lost sheep and brings them home. We find sanctuary in him.
The psalm’s movement: plea to God – appeal that God might deal with opposition – praise of God. Take a situation you are in and pray into it by using this process.
Dear Lord, life can be so confusing. In the midst of such confusion, I trust you for justice to prevail. I thank you for hearing and answering my prayers.
1 Ps 28:1, The Message
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