2007-06-27 - Lord, Save Me!
Psalm 116:3, 4, "The cords of death entangled me. The anguish of the grave came upon me; I was overcome by trouble and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the Lord: O Lord, Save me!"
David here remembers that he had some hard times. "The cords of death entangled me." He says that he was overcome by sorrows that could very well have caused his death. This could easily be the pains of conscience he felt because of his sin, but he doesn't tell us specifically. What we know is that his struggle was one that caused anguish of such a degree that it almost brought him down to the grave. If we understand these verses as him speaking of how he is saddened concerning his sin, they can be very instructive to us.
John Bunyan, when considering his sin, used to say that he wished he had been born a "frog or a toad, or a venomous serpent," rather than to have been a man who had lived as he had lived. His sorrow for his sin was great, and it was proper. We should sorrow for our sin. We should shed tears, and cry out our eyes at offending a holy God who has loved us throughout our entire lives. God has protected us, cared for our needs, given us uncounted blessings, and patiently endured our rebellion against Him,and our ever-constant forgetfulness (daily, hourly) of His rightful place as Creator, Lord, and Savior. We should be driven to weeping when we consider our thoughtlessness. We should bawl, holler, and mourn with David, feeling anguish that brings us near to the grave when we consider our sin.
If we continue to dwell on this topic, I fear the only emotion we can feel is hopelessness. What hope is there for all of us who have so treated such a loving, kind, and forgiving God who has not treated us as our rebellion deserves, returning kind for kind, but rather has been long-suffering in his loving care towards us? Maybe there is hope that God will simply keep looking upon us in a loving manner. Maybe there is hope that He will always and forever overlook our rebellion, but this is the kind of hope that has no basis. God has, in fact, promised, in the end, to punish sin. His patience with us has limits. But there is hope for anyone reading this. If you are reading this, it shows that His patience with you has not run out. He still offers you His mercy. He still lovingly extends His offer of everlasting grace to you. It is found in the Lord Jesus Christ.
This is where we see David ending. He does not end in hopelessness. He does not give us a benediction of despair. He does the only thing that we can logically do. He begs God to continue to show His love to him. He calls on the name of the Lord and he says, "Lord, save" Rather, than beating himself into the dust for his sin. He remembers the mercy and love of God toward him in the past, His promise of continued care and provision for those who cast their cares upon Him (Psalm 55:22), and he flings himself upon the loving God that he has known and observed throughout his life.
So what does David find, when he cries out to the Lord to save him? We find it in the next two verses. He finds that, "The Lord is gracious and righteous Our God is full of compassion. The Lord protects the simple-hearted; when I was in great need, he saved me."
Soli Deo Gloria,