Aloha Friday Message – April 12, 2013 – Trust and Obey

1315AFC041213 – Trust and Obey

Read it online here, please.

KJV Psalm 56:10 In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise, 11 In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me. 12 Thy vows are upon me, O God: I will render praises unto thee.

NIV Psalm 56:10 In God, whose word I praise, in the LORD, whose word I praise—11 in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? 12 I am under vows to you, O God; I will present my thank offerings to you.

NRS Psalm 56:10 In God, whose word I praise, in the LORD, whose word I praise, 11 in God I trust; I am not afraid. What can a mere mortal do to me? 12 My vows to you I must perform, O God; I will render thank offerings to you.

NKJ Psalm 56:10 In God (I will praise His word), In the LORD (I will praise His word),11 In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? 12 Vows made to You are binding upon me, O God; I will render praises to You,

YLT Psalm 56:10 In God I praise the word, In Jehovah I praise the word. 11 In God I trusted, I fear not what man doth to me, 12 On me, O God, {are} Thy vows, I repay thank-offerings to Thee.

NLT Psalm 56:10 O God, I praise your word. Yes, LORD, I praise your word. 11 I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me? 12 I will fulfill my vows to you, O God, and offer a sacrifice of thanks for your help.

NJB Psalm 56:10 In God whose word I praise, in Yahweh whose word I praise, 11 in God I put my trust and have no fear; what can mortal man do to me? 12 I am bound by the vows I have made, God; I will pay you the debt of thanks,

Our theme today: The only thing permanent in our lives is God’s Love. Everything else – including life itself – is only temporary.

Gath+PhilistiaAloha nui loa, Beloved! Last week I came across this Psalm in my Read-The-Bible schedule. I was just reading along and suddenly these two verses just caught my attention – jumped out at me as they say. The theme of the Psalm is “Trust in God under Persecution.” David had escaped King Saul’s reach and fled to the city-state of Gath and its king, Achish, as well as the home of Goliath and his brothers. You can see it there just WSW of Jerusalem in the area we still call Gaza today. David stays there about 16 months despite the fact that he and the Philistines were – literally – mortal enemies. When the courtiers of Achish saw David, they went and told their king, “Look, this is David, our enemy. His King Saul is trying to kill him. Let’s take care of that for Saul.” David gets wind of this and decides he’s going to act like he’s lost his mind because of all his running away from Saul; he fakes being crazy. King Achish asks his servants, “Are there so few crazy people in Gath that we need this one to come into our city?” They decide to leave him alone and David skedaddles up into the hills to hide in a cave where he is soon joined by allies.

This is another Psalm related to this episode in David’s life – Psalm 34. There are a lot of familiar phrases in this Psalm:

  • “The angel of the Lord stands guard around those who have respect for him. And he saves them.”
  • Godly people cry out, and the Lord hears them. He saves them from all of their troubles. The Lord is close to those whose hearts have been broken. He saves those whose spirits have been crushed.
  • Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord rescues them from them all.

As I studied these Psalms, I was struck by how they are prayers where the psalmist says things like Deliver me Lord, punish my enemies, you are strong and mighty, save me from death, I will praise you and bless your name, I will rejoice in your law, I will keep your commandments, I will proclaim your justice in the vast assembly.

David’s life was filled with many amazing episodes. It would have made a best-selling dramatic series if TV had been available in his day. Heroics, wars, lust and passion, hatred, jealousy, intrigue, betrayal, sex, … I guess all that was missing was drugs! Even as a man after God’s own heart, as God’s anointed, as the heroic King of Israel and founder of the House in which the Messiah would arise, this man went thorugh a LOT of changes! Talk about drama!! If today we talk about Drama Queens, we might look on David as the Drama King. But, with David we always have something that occurs between the dramatic moments. David always repents and returns. Sometimes it takes him a while, and often he suffers greatly, but when the accounts come in, it is David who has the humility to open himself to the Holy Spirit again and again. Saul had once prophesied in the Spirit, but he would not repent and so evil took over his heart. When I think about Saul’s prayers in his later years, they were prayers telling god, “This is how it’s going to go.” David’s prayers in his later life were more like, “I made the wrong choice and I am sorry.”

Sometimes when you are not sure what or how to pray, try turning to the Psalms. Many of the are prayers – lamenting, repenting, rejoicing, praising, lots of different types of prayers, but prayers nonetheless. Want to praise God? Try Psalm 8. What about an apology to God? Try Psalm 51. Need reassurance under attack? Try Psalm 3. Need to feel closer to God? Try Psalm 63. Want to just cuddle up with God and let him surround you with his Love? Try Psalm 139. Feeling a little insecure? Try Psalm 91. Not sure about any of this? Open your Bible with your eyes closed and ask God to speak to you in the first words you see; then you will begin to speak to God about what he wants you to know.

In our prayers we can seek to make our hearts trust and obey the Lord, or we can seek to weeblesmake the Lord’s heart our tool. However often or quickly our life changes from this to that to something else, we can always keep our proper orientation by keeping our face toward the Son. Sometimes we get knocked down, even knocked out, but we have Eternal Life living in us, and it is that life which lifts our hearts and minds to prayer. It seems a little silly when I see it on the page, but having the Light of Life in us makes us like the Weebles. We wobble but we don’t fall down. Paul says it much better though in 2 Corinthians 4:8-12: We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.

This Light of Life is the Word, and the Word is Love. It is God’s Love given to us as a Gift that keeps us from perishing. It is prayer that opens our lives to the Light of the Word – Jesus. And why and how does that happen? You can find the answer in one of the best-known scripture passages in the world: John 3:16-17 – For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Beloved that is an eternal promise based on Love, God’s perfect Love. No matter what happens to you, when you Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus, your life is set aright. If you’re like me and things get “a little crazy” sometimes, take a minute to put your hand in the hand of the Man who stilled the waters.

Beloved, when you pray with and in the Psalms this week, pray for all the troubled places in the world – especially Syria, Russia, and North Korea. BE the light that drives away the darkness by putting your trust in God and letting your little light shine, shine, shine.

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Beloved.

 

 

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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