Free and Safe
Father, on this Lord’s Day, I delight in You. Your compassion, Your companionship, and Your care are amazing.
Read PSALM 142:1-7
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“No person is too big for God’s power and no person is too small for God’s love” (Robert H. Schuller).
Jason found himself at the mercy of a mob (Acts 17:6). Jeremiah’s inability to restrain his message left him regularly facing danger and rejection. David endured a long and sometimes inglorious struggle to actualize the Lord’s anointing of him as king. This psalm is for them and us. It begins quite literally, “My voice to the Lord I lift; my voice to the Lord …” For David, the beginning of the end of trouble was to pour it all into the ear of God (2).The 21st century Church laments reluctantly; perhaps we worry about hurting God’s feelings. The psalmist encourages us not to hold back in praying our difficulties to God.P>
As David conveys his troubles to God, he highlights two particular—almost contradictory—aspects: he feels like a fugitive, and at the same time he feels like a prisoner (6,7). He longs to be free and he longs to be safe. There are various circumstances in life that seem to enslave or imprison us; there seems no getting away from them. There are also moments when we feel hounded by people, expectations and our own inability to respond well to them. In such moments and circumstances, it is human nature to focus on the problems and spiral into a pit of despair. After all, why pray when you can worry?
This kind of spiral is a deeply isolating experience. One commentator advises: “this psalm … does not seem suited to public performance.” The more isolated and trapped we feel, the less inclined we are to share our troubles with anyone. The way out of the spiral begins with a wholehearted offering of our situation to God. Eventually this leads to a reincorporation into the community of faith (7), as the sense of entrapment (3) and isolation fades.
Bring a lament to God knowing that: “The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made” (Psa. 145:8,9).
Lord, You are my refuge. Surround me with Your light, fill me with Your wisdom, seal me with Your Spirit, and strengthen me with Your power. All praise to You.
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