Tuesday, March 12, 2013

You Must Remember

How do you handle life when it gets real and life-like? Life has a tendency to do that, you know, to become more real than Reality TV. How do you handle the changes to your schedule, the stresses from work and home, the bitterness and discouragement that can come when dreams are dashed and hopes are shattered? When loved ones are lost while the wild world just keeps spinning on, seemingly out of control?
I think Psalm 5 can help us out. The fact that this is a morning prayer reveals that sometimes life’s troubles will follow us, even after we’ve had a night’s sleep. But notice that David began his day by crying out to God.
O Lord, hear me as I pray;    pay attention to my groaning.Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God,    for I pray to no one but you.
It sounds like David knows his audience. I’m not talking to anybody else here, but you God. And addressing God as King was to appeal to the covenant relationship between God and His People. 

Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord.    Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.

The NIV words it this way;  ‘you hear my voice’. This is like telling God, ‘I know You hear me.’
So while David may feel like his life is in the tank at the moment when he sings this song and brings his sacrifice, but he brings it anyway, waiting on God. David trusts that God will respond. He believes that God will not leave him alone to languish in despair.
How could David be so confident? Let’s read on.
O God, you take no pleasure in wickedness;    you cannot tolerate the sins of the wicked.Therefore, the proud may not stand in your presence,    for you hate all who do evil.You will destroy those who tell lies.    The Lord detests murderers and deceivers.Because of your unfailing love, I can enter your house;    I will worship at your Temple with deepest awe.
Have you ever considered how we use calendars? Calendars are very useful, since we live by the calendar. Whether we use a calendar like this or a pocket-size appointment calendar or if we keep our schedules on computers and tablets, it is important for us to be a reminder.
But the thing is that most all of us use it to remind us of things that are coming in the future, doctor’s appointments, important meetings, birthdays and anniversaries. But what happens to the past? We tear out those calendar pages when we are done with them.
We attempt to constantly forget the past and focus instead on the fairy tale green pastures that we think may come. But David tackles his problems by Remembering who God is and what He has already done.
We often assume evil always prevails - the bad guys get away with it, the innocent suffer, that God isn't interested in day-to-day righteousness, etc. But that is not what happens here.
Remember God's character - He listens to the righteous, protects them, blessing them. (vs 4-7)
I don’t know what kind of calendar the Israelites used, but I know they were purposeful about remembering. We’re told in various stories of the OT how they set up rocks as a reminder of what God had done there. I've often wondered how they remembered which rocks were for which story, but one of my favorites is found in the book of Joshua.
The whole army was needing to cross the Jordan River to go and show the city of Jericho who was boss. The only problem is that the Jordan River was at flooding levels. But once the priests who were carrying the Ark of the Covenant touched the edge of the river, the waters stopped and the entire army crossed on dry ground. When they crossed, 12 men picked up 12 stones from the middle of the river bed. They carried them to their camp that night and set them there.
It was left there and in later days when children asked why there were 12 stones there, the Israelites could answer, “Because God rocks!” (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)
Remember God’s Character.

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