Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Psalm 40 and a "New Thing"

Psalm 40 (Click HERE to read)

After a conversation with some good friends, we put it this way: if life were a test, we'd all fail.  Look at verse 13.  The psalmist asserts the same conclusion here.  His sins are more than he can fathom, more than the hairs on his head.  And, like the hairs on our head, for a while (I know this well, now) hair will grow back when some has fallen out.  The hope of being removed from our sins seems bleak--but we back up and read the rest of the psalm.

I love verse two--"He lifted me out of the desolate pit, out of the mire and clay; he set my feet upon a high cliff and made my footing sure."  When we are "in our sins," for lack of a better phrase, our hope does indeed seem dismal, but it is present nonetheless.  The psalmist confirms right away that his hope is in the LORD, the holy one who has lifted him up.  Only later does he refer to the pit of his sin from which he has been lifted up and even then his eyes are lifted up to God --"O LORD, make hasted to help me."

We have failed the test of life.  We cannot be removed from sin on our own effort.  I rather like to look at psalms like this in the light of the New Testament, particularly what St. Paul says in II Corinthians 5 - "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away and all things are made new."  We can even consider last week's Old Testament reading from Isaiah, the famous passage "See, I am doing a new thing."

God is doing a new thing, and you are part of it whether you are aware or not.  The answer to the level of your engagement in this "new thing" is given for us in verse 17 of the psalm we're considering: "Let all who seek you rejoice in you and be glad;  let those who love your salvation continually say 'Great is the LORD!'"  and follow that with verse 18, "Though I am poor and afflicted, the lord will have regard for me."

The Lord is your helper today and all days.  Seek him and you will find him.  Look for him and he will be made known to you.  Once you see him, share Jesus in your actions and in your love and quest for love.  He makes all things new and you are part of that.  Get on board!

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