March 20 2023
Today, Monday March 20
“Yet the LORD Thinks Upon Me”
“Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O LORD; Let Your lovingkindness and Your truth continually preserve me. For innumerable evils have surrounded me; My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up; They are more than the hairs of my head; Therefore my heart fails me. Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me; O LORD, make haste to help me!
Let them be ashamed and brought to mutual confusion Who seek to destroy my life; Let them be driven backward and brought to dishonor Who wish me evil. Let them be confounded because of their shame, Who say to me, "Aha, aha!"
Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; Let such as love Your salvation say continually, "The LORD be magnified!" But I am poor and needy; Yet the LORD thinks upon me. You are my help and my deliverer; Do not delay, O my God.”
Believe it or not, I’m on my way to Israel again. By the time you are probably reading this blog or watching this Pastor’s Chat, I will be on a plane somewhere between here and Israel. I’m meeting my son Jonathan and a group of students and parents in Jerusalem for a three-day tour. We will have a walking tour of Jerusalem, visiting all the major sites that we can get to on Wednesday and Thursday.
On early Friday morning we will take a tour bus to Tiberius. On the way there we will stop by Caesarea by the Sea, go by Megiddo, view the Jezreel Valley from Mount Precipice just outside Nazareth, drive through Cana of Galilee and then visit the Mount of Beatitudes and Capernaum. We will complete our day with a boat ride on the sea of Galilee.
I would really appreciate your prayers, as I travel there and back and as we spend time with these young people. Our prayer is that the Lord will work special in their hearts and lives as they experience the very place where the Lord lived and minister for His thirty-three years on earth.
I prerecorded the chat for today so I could have something to post before I leave on this trip. We have been looking at Psalm 40 and David’s prayer as he closes this chapter. David is crying out to God to help him. “Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O LORD” (v. 11). Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me; O LORD, make haste to help me! (v. 13). And then he prays about those who are seeking to destroy him (vv. 14-15).
This reminds us that we have a great adversary who is out to devour and destroy us. Peter instructs us to: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” (1 Peter 5:8-9).
Jesus gave a parable telling us how to pray against this adversary in Luke 18:1-8; “Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: "There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, 'Get justice for me from my adversary.' And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, 'Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.' " Then the Lord said, "Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?"
God has equipped us with the mighty weapons of prayer and His Word to stand strong in our faith when we are attacked by the devil. We either pray or we will faint, lose heart and go down in defeat. God is a just judge who is ready, willing and able to help us in our times of trial and temptation. Paul spoke to this same subject in Ephesians 6:10-18 and he tells us to stand with both the sword of the Spirit and hold up the shield of faith!
Psalm 40 is a great passage to read often in our days of adversity and trials. If we really believe that the LORD is thinking of us, we can trust Him to be our help and deliverer (v. 17). “Do not delay, O my God”!