A HORRIBLE PIT
Today’s Reading: Psalms 40-41
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Key Verse: Psalm 41:9
Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted,
Who ate my bread,
Has lifted up his heel against me.
In yesterday’s Psalms, that big word “I” was repeated over and over. Today the words that stand out are “my” and “me.” At least 35 times we are directed inward to think about ourselves. Psalm 40 starts out, not with a pity party for poor “me,” but with a powerful declaration of what God has done for David. He testifies that God has (1) inclined to me, (2) heard my cry, (3) brought me up out of a horrible pit, (4) set my feet on a rock, (5) established my steps, and (6) put a new song in my mouth. From verses 4 to 10 there is more positive confession. Then David seems to slip off the “Rock,” and back into that horrible pit. He writes, “My heart fails me…”
In Psalm 41 there are some directions for staying on the rock and out of the pit. (1) Blessed is he who considers the poor. (2) The Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. (3) The Lord will preserve him and keep him alive. (4) He will be blessed on the earth. (5) The Lord will strengthen him on his bed of illness. Then David’s feet slip again as we read verses 4 to 9. But let us not despair; he’s back up again for the last 4 verses of Psalm 41. One of the reasons the Psalms appeal to us is that David is so very human. We can identify with his struggles and his triumphs!
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord God, help me to wait patiently for You. Please set my feet on the Rock and keep me there by Your presence and power. You have given me the doxology of Jude 1:24-25. I confess Your ability to keep me from falling back into that horrible pit. I pray this with confidence that I am standing firmly on the Great Rock, the Lord Jesus Himself, Amen!!!!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
I’ve had the opportunity several times of descending literally into the “horrible pit” in which Jesus was kept overnight, beneath the palace of Caiaphas, the High Priest. It’s clean now, but when Jesus was there it was filthy; excrement would perhaps have covered the floor. Just next to the pit is the torture room where prisoners would be tied and whipped. I am overcome with the horror of it all. Jesus subjected Himself to this outrage when He could’ve simply spoken a word and set Himself free. He did it so that I, and millions of others, could be rescued from the pit of self pity and despair. He went down so that He could reach under all humankind and lift us up to stand on the unshakable Rock, which is Himself. He cleans us up through the cleansing of His blood (1John 1:7) and keeps us clean by the washing of water by the Word (Ephesians 5:26).
Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of Billy Graham, recorded a message which I would like to share with you. It ties in with David’s lament about his own familiar friend who has turned against him (click here).
Yours for standing firm on the “Rock,”