October 06 2022
Today, Thursday October 06
Responding to the Crisis
“Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; Have mercy on me, and hear my prayer. How long, O you sons of men, Will you turn my glory to shame? How long will you love worthlessness And seek falsehood? Selah
But know that the LORD has set apart for Himself him who is godly; The LORD will hear when I call to Him. Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Selah
Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, And put your trust in the LORD.
What do you do when your world is falling apart all around you. Your own family has turned against you. Your closest friends have joined those who want to destroy you! Your most trusted advisors and counselors have taken the side of the those against you. Even those that you went to church with, and worshiped with, are nowhere to be found. You only have a handful of people that are willing to stand with you. It is like your heart has been ripped out and you are hurting emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually.
How would you respond to this kind of crisis? What would you do? What should you do? Well, David in this Psalm and song, gives us a good example and some instructions for how we should respond as we might face this kind of crisis!
Remember David wrote this Psalm as he was fleeing from his son Absalom who was leading an insurrection against him. The first thing David did was pray and turn to the Lord for help! It is always best to go to the Lord first. In verse 1, David pleads for God to hear him and have mercy on him and hear his prayer. As he continues to pray, did you notice that by verse 4 his confidence has increased to the point where he proclaims, “The LORD will hear when I call to Him!”
The very act of praying and calling out to the Lord brought him hope and assurance that the Lord would hear his prayer and help him. There is something about praying and coming to the Lord in desperation that will change your broken hurting heart into a healing heart of trust and hope!
Next in verses 2-3, David turned to those who were against him. He wasn't at the scene of the revolt, but he spoke out to those who had turned against him and made Absalom king. The phrase "sons of men" refers to the leading men of rank who had been seduced by Absalom and with him were leading the people astray. The enthusiastic mob was following vanity and would pay dearly for their sins. When you follow vain things and believe falsehood, you can only go astray.
Then in verse 4-5, David encouraged his friends that were still with him. Sometimes in the midst of our pain and hurt all we can see are those who have rejected us and are causing us so much grief that we forget that we still have those who love us and are willing to help us. But here David remembers his friends, some of whom were so overcome by their emotions that they were about to get out of hand. David gave them some advice, which can be useful to us today when we find ourselves getting angry.
“Be angry, and do not sin” (v. 4). Sinful anger leads to sinful words and deeds, and even to murder (Matt. 5:21-26). Paul quoted this verse in Ephesians 4:26. There is a holy anger against sin that ought to be in the heart of every believer (Mark 3:5), but we must be careful not to be guilty of unholy anger.
Search your own hearts. “Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.” (v. 4). It's easy to get angry at the sins of others and ignore our own sins (Matt. 7:1-5). Instead of tossing and turning in bed because of the things others are doing, take inventory and see if there aren't sins in your own heart that need to be confessed.
“Be still (v. 4). The Amplified Bible translates this, "Be sorry for the things you say in your heart." Another translation is "say so in your own heart," that is, "Say to your own heart, Sin not." The honest searching of the heart should lead us to confess our sins to the Lord and claim His gracious forgiveness (1 John 1:9).