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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Psalms -- A Book for Those Who are Suffering

Today's Reading:
  • Psalm 69:1 -18
  • Psalm 69:19 - 36
Read Bible Passages Online

Psalm 691: 36
This Psalm screams desperation.  David is suffering terribly from the wrath of the wicked.  He compares his suffering to that of almost drowning -- he says the flood waters are up to his neck and he can't find a foothold to cling to (69:1 - 2).  David says that he is hungry and he is thirsty, yet his enemies sit before fine tables (69:21 - 22).  Everyone he knows -- even his own brothers -- pretend that they don't know him (69:8).

David says that he has suffered much humiliation for worshiping the Lord.  He says he is scoffed at when he fasts (69:10) and made fun of for showing sorrow (69:11).  He says that he is the favorite subject of gossip, even among drunkards (69:12).  David is suffering greatly because people are telling lies about him.  He says that those who hate him outnumber the hairs on his head (6:4).

This Psalm paints a very desolate picture of the situation David is in.  He is outnumbered and everyone seems to hate him, even his own family.  He is suffering emotionally and physically.  Those who despise the Lord have all taken up issue with David himself.  He is carrying a terrible burden.

I can't imagine being in such a dark place.  I can't imagine what it would be like if I felt like I had no one on this earth to back me up, to be on my side.  I can't imagine how desperate it would feel to have everyone become so spiteful towards me.  He said he felt like he was drowning, and the end was very very near (flood waters up to his neck).

All these Psalms of David make me desperate to read his story and find out everything that was going on at the time these were written.  There's obviously so much more to the story than what I've learned in Sunday school -- primarily that David defeated a giant, was the least of his brothers, and was the greatest king of all (until Jesus Christ, of course).  Yet obviously there's a big, sinister story of suffering I don't yet know about.  Reading these Psalms makes my spirit agonize for David's suffering, so I would like to find out the rest of the story.

Like David's other desperate Psalms, this one highlights David's complete faith throughout his turmoils.  David knows the Lord is there, he knows the Lord will avenge him -- he just doesn't know how long he will have to endure the terrible suffering.  And, like the Psalms before it, this one ends in praise to the Lord.

These Psalms are written to speak through those going through the hardest parts of their lives.  They remind us that we aren't the only ones who have suffered, and we are not the only ones who might have felt abandoned by the Lord at times.  But these Psalms remind us have faith, and to sing praises to the Lord regardless -- because the Lord is faithful to those who are faithful to Him.  And for that, Lord, I sing my praises to you!

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