Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Hard places

Taught from Psalm 34 on Sunday.

It is a Psalm for hard places...with two amazing "bookends."

First one -.the words before the text:"A Psalm of David when he feigned madness before Ahimilech, who drove him away and he departed." See I Samuel 21.

And the second, the closing comment in a great commentary: On the lips of martyrs as they went into the Roman coliseum to face their death. It has been spoken at their baptism and they would speak it at their dying.

A Psalm for hard places indeed.

Two immense life stabilizers are of first note:
1. :1-3 - Our spirit anchored to the presence of God
2. :4-7 - Our hearts assured by the care of God.

We then noted some important points for our lives:
1. :8 - When the test is upon you, take special refuge in the Lord.
2. :9 - Fear the Lord. There are two kinds of fears mentioned in this Psalm - :4 -the kind we face in life and :7 - the fear of the Lord that is gained by knowing Him and reverencing His nature and power.
(And if you want a sign that you do fear the Lord, it can be measured by a guarded tongue, a turning from evil and the pursuit of what bring forth peace. (:11-14))

Steps to stability in the time of storm:
1. Take refuge in the Lord
2. Fear the Lord
3. Seek the Lord...unleash your spirit. Twice in the text the word calls us to cry out.

Following this word, we began to worship the Lord together as the Presence of God became very tangible.

Some went to their knees. Many were deeply moved.

I hope you will open to this Psalm with those amazing bookends....and let it bring focus and strength to your life today.

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