Hope In The Heat.
“And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.”– Psalm 39:7 NLT
David is going through some kind of difficulty. He is under a great deal of pressure and believes that what he is suffering is from the hand of God and due to sin in his life. He is upset and frustrated about it, but has chosen not to complain about his circumstances in the hearing of men – especially the ungodly. He knows that to do so would cast dispersions upon God’s grace and goodness. So he just remains silent. But that doesn’t stop the emotional turmoil taking place inside his head and heart. He says, “the turmoil within me grew worse. The more I thought about it, the hotter I got, igniting a fire of words” (Psalm 39:2-3 NLT). When David did finally speak up, he chose to take it directly to the Lord. He expressed his thoughts to the one who could do something about it. But instead of complaining, David asked God for perspective. He asks God to “remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered – how fleeting my life is” (Psalm 39:4 NLT). David was asking God to help him keep his life in the proper perspective, never forgetting that eternity is our future, not this temporary condition we call life. In God’s grand scheme, our lives are but a breath, a fleeting moment on the eternal timeline. Yet we put all our emphasis on the here and now and forget about the hereafter. We spend all our time rushing around attempting to accomplish things that only end in insignificance. We work hard to accumulate wealth and then end up having to leave it behind when we go. You can see where David’s son, Solomon, got the perspective on life he shared in the book of Ecclesiastes: “I came to hate all my hard work here on earth, for I must leave to others everything I have earned” (Ecclesiastes 2:18 NLT). Solomon also shared David’s perspective on wealth. “Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless – like chasing the wind (Ecclesiastes 4:4 NLT).
But David had decided a long time before he wrote this Psalm to place his hope and trust in God. He had placed his life in God’s hands. In fact, he owed his life to God. Without God, David would still be shepherding sheep instead of shepherding the people of Israel. Whatever David was going through, he knew that ultimately it had to pass through the hands of God to get to him. He says, “I am silent before you; I won’t say a word, for my punishment is from you” (Psalm 39:9 NLT). David viewed his condition as God ordained and therefore he took his problem to the source. He believed that his punishment was due to sin in his life and knew that only God could forgive his sin and relieve his suffering. In verse 8 David asks God to “pluck him out of” his sin, to deliver him from his own transgressions. He knows that only God can bring relief from the pain he is suffering. So he asks God to hear his cries, to restore his joy, and to give him relief in order that he might spend whatever days he has on this planet in a right relationship with Him. And isn’t that what this is all about? It isn’t the accumulation of toys and the gaining of fame. It isn’t about comfort and ease, earning and spending, competing and winning. It is about the joy of a right relationship with God. Money can’t buy that. When we are not right with God, nothing is right. And nothing can make it right, but getting right with Him.
Father, what a wonderful reminder that life is all about living for You and with You. The pain and suffering we experience is nothing more than a reminder of our dependence upon and need for You. Keep me focused on You and nothing else. May I desire a right relationship with You more than anything else in the world. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men