2005-06-05 - Shout to the Lord
Psalm 5, Part 7
The psalms themselves can serve as a basis of our own prayers, especially when we need help in our praise and worship of the Lord. Having said that, it should be noted that some of what is found is clearly not appropriate as a basis of prayer for us. As I pointed out at the beginning of the message, this is what is called an imprecatory psalm, that is a psalm in which a prayer is offered up to God, calling for His judgment and destruction on the unrighteous. As noted before, there may also be a prophetic aspect to this call for judgment.
Anyway, we are of the Church, and therefore our responsibility isn't to pray for the working of God's judgment on the unrighteous. In fact, to the contrary, we are called to pray for them and their salvation.
"Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:44-45).
The day will come again where the saints of the Lord will plead for His judgment, but that day isn't today.
"When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who have been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?'" (Revelation 7:9-10).
Now David wasn't wrong in praying for God's judgment on his enemies, but we would be. Our concern is to be the healing of mankind. We are to strive to bring all to Him and to aid in their growth. This is the marching order of the church.
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (Matthew 28:19-20).
Finally let's stop and remember just how greatly we are blessed, because each one of us, no matter how young, no matter how old, whether a new believer or a long-time one, have access to the throne of God. I don't know about you, but I know for myself that I often take this for granted, and I need to resolve that I will continue to make the effort to go to God as frequently when things go well, as I do when I'm under the gun. There is so much joy available to us from an ongoing and continuous relationship with God through the work of prayer.
"Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful singing. Know that the Lord Himself is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him; bless His name" (Psalm 100:1-4).
Final Comments: Often it gets discouraging as we see the fallen world around us. I know that it gets to me when I see the pain of the lives of people with whom I come in contact. But wait! Remember our hope. The more we understand the nature of the world and its wickedness, the more we can rejoice in just what a loving Lord we have.
"But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).
No matter how far man has fallen, God is there offering the way back up out of the mire and into His arms. This is the message of joy and hope we have to offer to people around us. This is the true message of the Gospel.
Comments or Questions?