2005-06-19 - Confidence in the Lord
Psalm 6, Part 4
Verses 9-11: Suddenly there is a shift in outlook. Something has happened! Specifically what, we don't know, but in some manner God has manifested Himself to the poet, restoring his spirit and causing him to be aware of the Lord's answer to his need for relief. Where there was darkness, suddenly the light of God breaks forth. Maybe nothing has changed in circumstances, but something has in his perspective. He expresses CONFIDENCE IN THE LORD.
This change in perspective, due to the work of God, is so clear it causes the author's enemies to respond with terror and shame. Their lack of awareness of the workings of God has been exposed, and they can't face that exposure.
For the psalmist, the reality of the closeness of God nullifies the danger from his enemies, who now seem to have moved afar. He can rejoice in the reality of the Lord.
Why is this the case? First, because God has heard his cries. Second, God has heard his words. Finally God, hearing the sincerity of his heart, responds to his prayer.
"The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective" (James 5: 16).
While this passage (James), is speaking specifically about prayer related to the request for healing, the principle of God answering righteous prayer, that which is consistent with His will, is certainly applicable in the context in which it is applied.
It is important to note that God will respond in the future, but the knowledge of that response brings confidence and comfort in the present. As Craigie notes:
"The psalmist's faith, in other words, outstripped the reality of any change in his physical condition." 3
Conclusion: In summary, the movement of the psalm seems to flow through three phases. It shifts from the sufferings that comes from a recognition of sin and the accompanying feeling of separation from God. Turning to the Lord, in recognition of personal failure and His undeserved grace, leads to the realization of His restoration. Our psalmist has passed from feeling alienated from God to an awareness of His presence and the comfort which it provides.
So here we are. All night we've been tossing and turning. Our circumstances not only aren't getting better, but at one o'clock in the morning they seem to be going from bad to worse. It's no wonder that we feel like saying, "Lord, enough already!" And for whatever comfort you can take from this, you're in good company, for it seems that we all have been in this place at one time or another.
The concern isn't with the fact that we sometimes find ourselves feeling this way. Our concern should be: How do we handle these times? How do we move from a focus on circumstances to a focus on the Lord?
The sin isn't the temptation to say "enough already;" rather, the sin is demanding that God bring us relief from our circumstances, even when that relief is contrary to His will.
3 Craigie, Peter C., Word Biblical Commentary, "Psalms 1-50," Word Publishing, Waco, TX, 1983, p. 95.
To be continued.
Comments or Questions?