2007-02-06 - Living in a Cave
I cry out to the LORD with my voice; With my voice to the LORD I make my supplication. 2 I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare before Him my trouble.
This is a poem of deep anguish, reflecting a time in David's life where the reality of his cave experience was twofold. Not only was he physically in a cave, cut off from humanity; he was also in an emotional cave, feeling utterly alone.
This mighty man of faith felt as we often do today. Many of us, in a trial of blinding darkness & great pain or fear, experience our faith turning from supernatural to natural. It is hard for us to feel God's protection during these times, to feel His presence, & to feel the luxury of complete safety in His unfathomable will. We are not alone in this, as David exemplifies for us here. In the midst of his cave, David determined to set aside his feelings and humanistic mind-set and to meditate on things of God. He confesses his trust and relies on his faith, knowing that although he could not see God, he trusted "that somehow God must be near." Then, he vocalizes a promise, possibly considering the power of the spoken word, as he claims God's victory for the outcome. Verse 7 says "the righteous shall surround me, for you shall deal bountifully with me."
This psalm is more than a lesson for us to learn from. It's more than simple encouragement. It hits its mark in the realistic bull's-eye of our own hearts and minds. This psalm deals directly with the emotions we all have felt and often later are ashamed of, knowing in our spirit, but not sensing in our conscious awareness. How many times have we cried out from our cave, asking God where He is at, or if He sees what's happening? Knowing that He knows all this and more, yet unable to understand it ourselves - that is God's omnipotent omnipresence in all of life's struggles.
Here, God shows us His deep abiding love for us by helping us to understand we are not alone in this, and how to deal with it.
(vs. 2) Tell God what your problem is.
(vs. 3, 4) Allow yourself to face the truth of your emotions. Don't deny them in order to "make yourself strong in the Lord." Remember it is NOT your strength that will get you through, rather your weakness. The word tells us that where we are weak, in that place is when His strength is able to manifest. Remember, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. It is not by might, nor power, but by my spirit, says the Lord. You can only effectively deal with your emotions when you face them.
(vs. 3) As David did, make your "preliminary confession of trust." Just as God knew David's path from the beginning, so He knows yours. Jeremiah 29 reminds us again that He knows the thoughts that He thinks towards us, and that is to give us a hope and a future. Starting from verse 10, it reads:
"I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place. 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.
(vs.4) Renew your confession of trust. Take your mind off of this world, and place it up in the heavenlies. Set aside your feelings, and lift up your cross as well as your mind, eyes and head. Walk in the covenantal promises of the Lord: Jeremiah 31:2-4 Thus says the LORD: " The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness "Israel, when I went to give him rest." 3 The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: " Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness I have drawn you. 4 Again I will build you, and you shall be rebuilt, O virgin of Israel! You shall again be adorned with your tambourines, and shall go forth in the dances of those who rejoice.
(vs. 7) Vocally declare God's promises!
(vs. 7) Praise God, just as Moses did when he went to the top of the hill of Rephidim during the battle with Amalek & lifted his arms in praise to the Lord for the victory in battle! Exodus 17:8-11 reminds us that our enemies are defeated in our praises.
Surround yourself with prayer partners. Remember in Exodus 17: When Moses' hands became tired, they came to hold up his arms. 12 But Moses' hands were heavy and grew weary. So [the other men] took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Then Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side and one on the other side; so his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 And Joshua mowed down and disabled Amalek and his people with the sword. 14 And the Lord said to Moses, Write this for a memorial in the book.