Thursday, April 7, 2016
He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemies, from those who hated me and were too strong for me. They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress, but the Lord supported me. Psalm 18:16-18(NLT)
In this particular Psalm, David utters great praise to God for being preserved from fierce adversaries over the course of his life. Seventeenth century preacher and pastor Matthew Henry said of this Psalm: The poetry is very fine, the images are bold, the expressions lofty, and every word is proper and significant; but the piety far exceeds the poetry. This is David’s expression of devotion to the God who was his rock and shield throughout a lifetime of war, political enemies, and even David’s own failure. It is a testament of how God never lets down those who bow before the king of glory.
I have to admit that when I was much younger I would read verses like these and interpret them according to what I wanted, rather than seek God’s face, or his will. It’s called “eisegesis”, or reading-into Scripture what you want to be there, rather than what’s really there.
In earlier days (and, to be honest, sometimes even now), when going through a rough patch, my prayer life turns into a shopping-list of wanting what I want; God’s will (at times) is lost in the shuffle; well, HE certainly isn’t lost, but I’m looking in the wrong direction. After all, as it has been observed, it’s hard to remember you’ve been sent to drain the swamp when you’re up to your neck in alligators! My prayers sometimes turn into: God, I need this, that, and don’t forget the other… and You’ve promised….
Whenever I look back on such times, I’m amazed how I was able to read a Bible passage about how God dealt with someone else, and then act as if it was written just for me, so I can get my prayers answered my way – so I can tell God what I want, proving I deserve it with Scripture, and then just about demand that God live up to his end of the bargain.
In haste to fulfill our own agenda, laced with personal desires and gains, we instruct the Lord, misapplying Scripture after Scripture, until our prayer sounds like it is lifted right out of Holy writ, when it’s really only been lifted out of its original context!
Zero humility; off-the-chart arrogance!
And at times such as this, just like the Prodigal son, I wake up in the hog pen with the cold-water reality of my incredible foolishness smacking me in the face.
And I repent.
And I remember – God’s deliverance isn’t always from the bad guy or the mountain that wants to fall on me; often his saving me is a matter of saving me…from me!
Have you ever prayed against God’s will, and tried to use His holy Word to prove you’re right?
You chew on that as you hit the Rocky Road today…and have a blessed day!
 Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Old Testament © 2000, Findex.com, Inc.