Raws li tej yam uas koj paub, Kuv yog ib leej txiv tshiab. Kuv tus tub, Q, muaj tsib lub hlis. Thiab nws yeej zoo siab, tsuas yog thaum peb muab nws rau hauv nws lub txaj thaiv npoo pw. Nws tam sim ntawd loses siab. Nws tiag xav tias peb twb abandoned nws fend rau nws tus kheej rau tag nrho cov teeb meem nyob ib ncig ntawm nws, nws sab sab heev thiab hu ua deductible nws ntaub hloov.
Tab sis muaj ib hnub nws pheej nrhiav tau lwm txoj kev kaj siab lug ntawm tej yam xwm txheej ntawm nws tes. Nws yog ib tug soothing rau lawv tus kheej tshaj plaws nws tau figured tawm. Thiab thaum nws txo nws hwj nws txhais tes rau hauv nws lub qhov ncauj – thiab nws yeej shoves nws nyob ntawd – nws forgets txog txhua yam nws hwm. Nws yeej tsis hloov lub Disease fact uas peb tshuav nws nyob ib leeg nyob rau hauv nws hoob, tiam sis tus tes ua nws tsis nco txog nws.
Qhov tshij, Kuv paub tias txhua leej txhua tus ntawm no hnub no muaj teeb meem loj dua nyob ib leeg pw ib chav. Peb muaj nyiaj txiag, tej teeb meem kev sib yuav, tsis muaj teeb meem, thiab hais txog. Thiab zoo ib yam li kuv tus tub, saib peb tej thaum txog tej kev pab kom paub daws peb hwm. Peb tsis xav kom koj hnov qhov mob thiab lo. Li ntawd, peb tig los rau tej yam uas ua rau peb nco txog nws. Tab sis, yog tias txoj kev zoo tshaj rau nws hais? Distraction?
Kiag li tsis. Peb tsis yuav coping mechanisms, gods tsis muaj tseeb, thiab cov hau kev rau lawv tus kheej lus mos. Peb tsis muaj muaj tig. Vim hais tias in the midst of twb hwm peb yuav pom txhua yam peb xav tau ntawm vaj tswv.
Ziag no kuv paub peb hnov Christians hais txhua lub sij hawm ntawd vaj tswv tau muaj txaus, tus vaj tswv yog txhua yam peb yuav tau, tab sis nws tsis yeej muaj tiag. Txhais li cas yog nws tiag tiag? Peb nyob hauv lub ntiaj teb poob, cov teeb meem loj. Li cas thiaj yog Vaj tswv muaj tas nrho peb xav tau kev pab? Nws yog zoo li cas, suab, Txawm tias thaum txhua yam yog crashing cia peb?
Tsis txawv teb chaws los Vaj tswv los yog nws cov lus no qhia txog kev kub ntxhov thiab lo. Peb pom nws hauv lub Psalm ntawm lub lis piam tas los no thiab peb mam li ntsib nws dua lub lim tiam no nyob hauv lub Psalm lwm heev, Tshooj 142. Da-viv sau tau no Psalm thiab. Peb mam li saib zoo li cas hauv no thov Das Vis leej yog ib tug troubled, tsis paub pab, txiv neej xav ua kom tau quaj tau kev pab.
Ua ntej peb nyeem cov ntawv nyeem ho, Kuv xav kom koj muab tej keeb kwm yav dhau. Peb pom cov dab neeg da lub neej nyob hauv phau 1 Xa-muyees.
David yog ib cov txiv neej mas zoo paub tias nyob hauv keeb kwm ntiaj teb. Nws yog tej zaum tseem nto moo rau nws swb ntawm Kaulias scrappy. Nws yeej cia li txawb ib pob zeb rau nws thiab slayed nws. Thaum da-viv twg uas, Xaulaus tseem yog tus huab tais. Tab sis, cov neeg Israelite raug kab paub zoo heev ntawm da-viv. Lawv txawm tejyam zaj nkauj hais txog nws li cas amazing, muab piv nws yuav xa. Nws yog qhov nrov tshaj tus huab tais, thiab txiv huab tais tsis nyiam nws. Li ntawd, txawm tias nws muaj vaj ntxwv Saul txwj ua ntej nws tua Kaulias, Xaulaus tau tam sim no ntsia David raws li nws tus yeeb ncuab. Thiab nws pib ua txhua yam li nws ua tau kom nws tua. Li thaum da-viv sau no Psalm, Nws yog ntawm cov mus dhia. Nws yog ib tug hero rog uas yog tau txia ntshis ua ib tug tseem nrhiav. Tus huab tais lawm uas David number ib tug tuag rau hauv nws daim ntawv uas muaj tej. Nws tseem da-viv tus txiv huab tais thiab nws pab tub rog tag nrho.
Thiab no heev nyob rau hauv Psalm 142 Peb nrhiav tau da-viv, nkaum hauv ib lub qhov tsua. Nws tshai rau nws lub neej, thiab yog nyob ntawd lo nws quaj los Vaj tswv.
Kuv quaj nrov rau tus tswv; Kuv siv kuv lub suab los tus tswv kev hlub. kuv nchuav kuv tsis txaus siab ua ntej nws nyom; nws ua ntej kuv qhia kuv raug teeb meem. thaum twg kuv tus plig hlob zoo li kuv tsaus muag, Nws yog koj leej twg paub kuv txoj kev. hauv txoj kev uas kuv taug kev txiv neej nws muaj kaum ib tsig rau txim mus cuag kuv cov cai thiab seb;yog tsis muaj leej twg txhawj rau txim kuv muaj tsis muaj qhov chaw nkaum;tsis muaj leej twg ua rau kuv lub neej. kuv quaj rau koj zov, O tswv; Kuv hais, "Koj yog kuv qhov chaw nkaum,kuv ib feem nyob hauv lub teb chaws uas cov nyob." Mloog kuv quaj,rau kuv xav xav ua kom tau; kuv ntawm cov neeg caum kuv Rescue,rau lawv yuav muaj zog heev rau kuv. Koj muab kuv pub dawb los ntawm kuv tsev rau txim, tias kuv kuj qhuas nws lub npe koj. Ces qhov zoo yuav sau txog kuv vim koj lub siab zoo rau kuv. (Psalm 142, NIV)
Peb mus taug kev los ntawm cov ntawv luam no. Thiab peb yuav xav txog plaub yam kev peb kawm txog vaj tswv nyob rau hauv no thov txhob da-viv. Thiab thaum peb mus txog nws, peb yuav pom tias txawm nyob rau lub sij hawm cov teeb meem phev heev, peb yuav pom txhua yam peb xav tau nyob rau hauv vaj tswv. Tus thawj uas saib peb yog tias Vaj tswv yog peb tug phooj ywg nyob rau hauv lub sij hawm uas raug teeb meem.
Kuv. Vaj tswv yog peb tug phooj ywg nyob rau hauv lub sij hawm uas raug teeb meem
ib. Vaj tswv Cares
Kev da-viv daws thov ntuj rau qhov tias Vajtswv mloog assumption rests. Nws assumes tias nws muaj kev raug zoo nrog Vajtswv thiab hais tias Vaj tswv yeej zov txog zoo li cas yuav txog nws lub neej. Nws tseem ua tau zoo nkauj zoo kawg li thaum twg koj xav txog nws. Ntawm lub ntug Vaj tswv zov txog no saib xyuas tseem nrhiav. Skeptics kuj xav tias Vaj tswv zov txog peb hwm tsis yeej txawv los sis ua tau ib qho txawv npaum. Leej twg yuav tsum tau kev pom cov phooj ywg, Thaum txhua yam hauv koj lub neej yeej chaos? Tab sis lawv yuav tsis ncaj ncees heev lawm. Tus Disease fact tias Vaj tswv yog ib tug phooj ywg, Nws zov, ua rau tag nrho cov sib txawv nyob hauv lub ntiaj teb. Losis tsis ib tug neeg zov txog koj qhov teeb meem no pauv li cas lawv teb thaum koj qhia lawv txog nws.
Piv txwv, yuav ua li cas yog tias kuv cable mus, thiab tsis txhob hu kuv cable niaj hnub kuv hu kuv tus kws kho mob hauv Internet. Zoo kuv yuav hu thiab qhia rau lawv tag nrho kuv tej teeb meem uas kuv cable. Kuv yuav nco lawv li cas kuv mus ib tug neeg, thiab impress rau lawv li cas appalled kuv nyob hauv qhov kev pab no atrocious. Tiam sis vim kuv hu ua tsis ncaj ncees lawm pes tsawg, lawv tsis quav ntsej. And they’re not going to try to do anything about it. Actually I’m pretty sure they don’t care even when I call the right number, and they never do anything about it, but you get what I’m saying. It matters whether or not someone cares.
Now I want you to imagine what it would be like if God didn’t care about our troubles. We could cry out to God all day long, but it wouldn’t make any difference at all. Ask David if it matters that God cares. Look back at verse one.
Kuv quaj nrov rau tus tswv; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. I pour out my complaint before him; before him I tell my trouble.
This is a man in urgent danger. His life is in jeopardy. It’s like he’s in a burning building. It’s like he’s being chased by thugs with guns. And he’s earnestly crying out for help. I can imagine David in the cave, sweating as he prays this prayer.
And as David prays, he understands that God is his friend and He cares. And that truth drives the way he prays.
He knows God is listening. Look at verse six. Nws hais tias, “Listen to my cry for I am in desperate need.” Now I don’t think this is him trying to convince God to switch it up and listen for a change. David says this over and over in the Psalms. I think David is saying, “You’ve promised to listen to your people when we talk to you. So hear me. I’m talking.” It’s like he was tapping him on the shoulder. Zoo li, “Lord, listen to your beloved. I have something to say.”
David knew about God’s track record. He knew that God had made a covenant with this people. He knew God had promised to be with them. He knew about how God had heard their prayers and delivered them over and over again. And he expected that this God would hear him this time as well.
Christian, do you pray with this knowledge? Or do you imagine you’re just saying words? Do you pray with a sense of God’s intended care and love for you? Is prayer a real interaction with God or are you just throwing words up at the ceiling? Is it just a ritual? It matters that God is a friend who cares.
We can learn from the way David prays. David is actually airing his complaints to God. Tam sim no peb paub tias nyob rau hauv vaj tswv vaj commands peb tsis mus grumble thiab yws. Tiam sis ntawm no David qhia tau hais tias peb txoj kev voice peb tsis txaus siab. Nws tsis grumble thiab yws rau Vajtswv zoo ib yam li cov neeg Ixayees hauv moj sab qhua. Nws tsis yws rau hauv ib txoj kev uas txo nws hwj cov vaj tswv lub cim los txiav txim rau cov lus nug. Nws tsis muab Vajtswv rau trial.
Nws yeej yog cov ntxeev lus. Thaum peb yuav pom cov tom qab hauv lub psalm David affirms Vaj tswv tus cwj pwm zoo. Pa ya rau koj cov lus tsis txaus siab rau vaj tswv ywm, tab sis ua nrog tas nrho cov qoob loo rau nws. Ywm mus qhia Vajtswv koj neb nyob nraum ib lub sij hawm ntxhib. Tab sis thaum peb iab liam nws yog tsis ncaj ncees – hais nrov nrov tawm lossis nyob rau hauv peb lub siab lub ntsws – uas yog thaum twg nws yuav ua kev txhaum.
Tab sis, nws yog ib qho nyuaj to taub tej zaum. Ib rapper, hauv nkauj hu ua Nyob zoo Vaj tswv, tham txog nws li no.
"Kuv xav tias nws yog tus tuav tibneeg hu tauj coob tus kab Thov / nyeem hu kuv vwm kuv xav tej zaum nws yuav mloog."
Nws theem saum tus taw tes zoo. Vaj tswv twb paub koj nyob nraum xav li cas ua ntej koj qhia rau nws. Yog Vaj tswv yeej paub txhua yam, tswv cheej nyob ntawm nws paub yog dab tsi? Yog nws ib ce cia li nyob rau hauv kev qhuab qhia? Nws bothers kuv thaum Christians tham txog nws txhais tau hais tias lub hom phiaj tseem ceeb yog aligning koj yuav nrog tus vaj tswv. Yog tsis tseeb.
Peb qhia rau nws vim nws hnov peb, Nws nyob hauv lub rooj sib hais los ntawm peb delights, thiab zov nws thiab nws nco ntsoov teb rau tus hlub (ntxiv rau ntawd tom qab). Tiam sis thov qhia Vaj tswv cov hwm koj. Quaj rau nws. Laub koj tsis txaus siab. Nyom txog koj lub suab. Xyaum David ntawm no.
Nws yuav mus. Saib qhov nws hais tias nyob hauv nqe lus peb.
Thaum twg kuv tus plig hlob zoo li kuv tsaus muag, Nws yog koj leej twg paub kuv txoj kev. Nyob hauv txoj kev uas kuv taug kev txiv neej muaj hidden ib tsig rau kuv.
Qhov txhia chaw da-viv ntsia, Xaulaus tau nkaum hlua rau nws. Ob zaug nws sim tua nws thaum nws ua si rau lub harp rau nws. Nws txawb ib tug hmuv rau nws thiab sim nws pin rau phab ntsa. Xaulaus tau muab nws tus ntxhais tsis tau raws, li ib tsig rau nws. Nws tau sim convince nws tus tub, Da BFF, Nws tua. Thiab tam sim no xa thiab nws cov armies mas pursuing nws. Yog nyab xeeb ntawm txhua tus tig.
Kuv paub peb ib txhia xav hais tias peb yuav txheeb tuaj ntawm no. Peb xav tias zoo li txawm peb tig qhov twg muaj teeb meem. Peb xav hais tias peb sim neej yog ib tug mess. Yog vim li cas peb nyob nraum distressed. Qhov no yog li cas David yim.
Tiam sis nws yog hais tias thaum nws tus plig tsaus muag, when his spirit is feeble, when he’s overwhelmed, it is God who knows his way. It’s God who knows what He’s going through.
In verse four he keeps telling God about what’s going on.
Look to my right and see; no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my life.
d. No One But God
David is separated from his wife and separated from his best friend, Jonathan. He’s unwelcome in the kingdom. He feels like nobody cares about Him, like nobody can save him. Yet he goes before God. David knows God is his friend and that God will care for him.
What a difference that makes when friends have turned their backs on you. And family has shunned you. And co-workers don’t care about you. And your neighbors don’t even know who you are. God knows you and God cares for you. God hears your prayers. God knows how many hairs are on your head. He knows the pain and turmoil you’re experiencing. And in this sense, the believer in Jesus is never alone.
Often we spend our lives trying to be noticed by other people, wanting their attention and respect. We want them to care about us. God cares! There’s no remote island or abandoned building where the believer will be alone. God is with you. And He loves you. And He cares.
Truthfully, without God as your friend you would be abandoned. It would be depressing if this Psalm ended here. And many of the world’s laments do end there. But David knows that even when he feels the most alone and abandoned, God cares. And He knows that when He needs someone to care for him, he should run to God.
So we can find everything we need in God, even when it’s rough. But surely God as our friend isn’t all we need.
II. God Is Our Protection in Times of Trouble
I want to bring your attention to one more thing he says in verse four. Nws hais tias, “I have no refuge.” Now when we hear the word refuge, we automatically go to this metaphorical sense. We think he means he has no one to run to. That’s not what he means here. He means I have no home. I have no shelter. I have nowhere to sleep. I am literally physically exposed. He didn’t have the option of checking in to a Motel 6. Which is why he’s hiding out in a cave.
So we can find everything we need in God? Can God be a house for us? Look at verse five.
I cry to you, O tswv; Kuv hais, "Koj yog kuv qhov chaw nkaum, my portion in the land of the living.”
First he was saying, I don’t have a friend, but you’re my friend. I don’t have anyone to listen, but you’ll listen to me. I don’t have a caregiver, but you’ll take care of me. Now he’s saying, I don’t have any shelter, but you’re my shelter. You’re my refuge.
While I was working on this sermon I really zoomed in on this verse. I wanted it to be more to us than a cute coffee cup verse. What does this really mean in real life?
We saw this refuge language last week in Psalm 141 heev. And we see it all over the Scriptures. He’s not saying that God is his literal physical shelter. But he is saying in the midst of his lack of physical shelter, God is another kind of shelter for him. God is his refuge.
What does it mean for God to be your refuge? I think it means He is your protection from all the things that threaten you in the outside world. Though we’ve made our homes into our own little heavens on earth with comforts and entertainments of all sorts, protection is essentially the purpose of shelter. It’s to protect us from harm – from weather, from thieves, from attackers.
Listen to what David says in another Psalm he wrote while he was in the cave.
Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by. (Psalm 57:1)
David is saying he will hide in God. God is his protection from the destruction. Hais dua, He’s saying in God his soul takes refuge. At the deepest part of who he is, at his core, he finds his refuge in God.
Is God your refuge today? What are you trusting in for protection? What is there in your life, that if you lost it you would feel exposed and open to destruction? Is it your money? Is it your status? Better yet, where do you run in times of trouble? Where do you feel safe? Is it in that relationship or that job? Yog li, then it doesn’t sound like God is your refuge.
Making God your refuge is a posture of the heart. It’s a deep trust in God as our protection. It’s knowing that with God we are safe. David knows his life is in danger, and he’s distressed, yet he feels safe. What a strange place to be, yet this is where every believer in a fallen world should find themselves. Distressed, yet peaceful. Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing.
Now am I saying, that because God is our protection, He won’t allow us to be hit with any trials? tsis yog li. Think about it like this.
This watch I’m wearing today is waterproof. Now that doesn’t mean that if I walk outside in the rain or leave it on while I’m washing dishes, it won’t get wet. What it does mean is that even if the watch does get wet, it won’t be destroyed. This is similar for the believer. God hasn’t promised to keep us from being in a storm, but He’s promised that we will not be destroyed. We can get hit by the storm, but we cannot be destroyed.
What does that mean? Loos 8 lays out the most awful things we can imagine happening to us, including death. And it says even in the midst of all these things, we’re more than conquerors through Christ who loves us. Loos 8 also tells us that everything will turn out for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose.
So look, as our protection, our God will protect us from everything that will turn out in the end for our harm or destruction. And that should comfort us. Because we know if He lets it hit us, it’s for our good and for His glory. He is our protection. So David’s like, “Who needs physical shelter, when I have God!” God is our greatest need, and when that one need is met, all the others look much smaller.
So again I ask where do you run in troubled times? I’m asking both the Christians here today and to the non-Christian. Where do you run? Many of us have been running to the wrong things. We’re running to false shelters. And to be honest, that’s foolish. No matter what that false shelter is, whether it’s a person or an addiction – it’s dangerous. False shelters lie to us. They seem safe, but in the end they only leave us more exposed. They will not protect us from destruction.
In Deuteronomy, Moses speaks of how God will respond to His people’s idolatry.
Then he will say, “Where are their gods [speaking of their idols], the rock in which they took refuge… Let them rise up and help you; let them be your protection.” (Deuteronomy 32:37)
God’s people were attacked by other nations, thiab tsis tau los tiv thaiv lawv tus cuav gods lawv muab lawv vam cia rau hauv – lawv Cross cuav –. Tsis txhob ua kom lawv yuam kev.
Tseem, tsis txhob ua qhov yuam kev ntawm koj xav xwb ua rau vaj tswv koj qhov taub thaum lub sij hawm. Koj mam li tos tos kom txog thaum nws tau phem thiab ces koj mam li nkaum nyob hauv Vajtswv. Uas ua rau tsis muaj kev txiav txim zoo hlo. Koj tsis txhob tos kom txog thaum cov cua daj los tsim ib lub tsev. Koj nyob hauv tsev, thiab koj nyob nraum tiv thaiv ua ntej thaum nws pib los nag. Koj tsis muaj panic thaum nws pib drizzling, vim koj twb twb muab zais koj tus kheej hauv nws. Uas yuav chiv ua mob trusting nyob hauv nws txoj siav los ntawm kev txhaum thiab kev pab, hais tias koj xav tau kev tiv thaiv ntawm nws lam wrath. Thiab nws tseem yog koj khiav rov qab rau nws hnub tom qab niaj hnub niaj hnub.
Now as we talk about God’s protection, we can’t overlook the fact that a couple days ago a horrible thing happened in Newtown, Connecticut. Another one of these mass attacks on a school. It was very young kids five and six year olds. That should anger us and grieve us. And tragedies like this make people ask questions.
Christian, what are you going to say to your friend at work who says, “Where was your God in the midst of this? Why didn’t He protect those innocent kids? Why did He let that happen?” What do you say to that?
What would I say? I think I’d say, I don’t know. Why not me instead? I don’t know. I don’t want to give some philosophical answer about the problem of evil. No one wants to hear that. I think I would just say I don’t know why, but I do know God. And He’s good. God hasn’t told us all the specifics about why He allows certain things, but He has told us what He’s like. We know He’s good, and wise, and perfect. He’s already proven that. So all I can do is trust Him, pray for those victims, and remember that no situation is so horrible that we can’t run to God.
Because even in the most heart wrenching of situations, peb yuav pom txhua yam peb xav tau nyob rau hauv vaj tswv. He is our friend and our protector, but there’s more.
III. God is our Treasure in Times of Trouble
I cry to you, O tswv; I say, "Koj yog kuv qhov chaw nkaum, my portion in the land of the living.”
David calls God his portion. This word portion means a share. So this could refer to your share of an inheritance – your portion of what was left behind. It could mean a particular reward that’s rightfully yours. So in his current situation, David has nothing. He’s away from his home and no longer in the king’s good graces.
So he’s saying, “I don’t have a portion, an inheritance, a reward. Vaj tswv, you’re my reward. You’re my treasure. You are my everything!” God was His everything.
My wife and I were watching this documentary on ESPN this week called Broke. The documentary was about athletes who at one time were millionaires, but found themselves absolutely broke. Some of these guys literally made hundreds of millions, but blew it all on houses, cars, clothes, and an expensive lifestyle. They lived as if things, possessions, materials were their treasures. And when they lost all of it, they didn’t know what to do. Their portion was gone.
Then there’s a guy like Paul the Apostle. Nyob rau Philippians uas hais tias nws txawj yuav kawm ntawd, hais tias nws yog neeg nplua nuj los nws yuav tsis. Koj puas xav paub ntawm daim card no? Nws paub tias txhua yam nws yeej yuav tsum yog Christ. Txhua yam nws xav tau Christ. Yog nws kam muab txhua yam uas nws muaj Christ. Vaj tswv yog nws cov khoom muaj nqis. Koj tsis xav coj mus taw tes ntawd?
Raws li A.W. Tozer tso rau hauv nws phau ntawv lub caum qab ntawm Vajtswv, "Tus txiv neej uas muaj vaj tswv thiab rau nws cov khoom muaj nqis tau txhua yam nyob rau ntawm ib tug."
b. Kev kaj siab lug tsis them nyiaj
In Light of qhov no, kev kaj siab lug peb tsis tau contingent rau peb nyiaj hauv tuam txhab tso nyiaj. Peb kev kaj siab thiab kev sib raug zoo mus tsis tau txog down uas yuav ua li cas kev ruaj khov peb hnov, Nws yog ib tug temptation qee zaus. Peb xav tau hom pob zeb khoom qoob loo rau vaj tswv, uas ua haujlwm ib npaj, tab sis cov uas tseem trusts Vajtswv tshaj nyiaj. You can trust in money, but it’s a bad idea. There is no amount of money that can’t be blown or stolen. Money won’t last, but God will. He should be our treasure, even in times of trouble.
How can you do your work in a way that prioritizes God over money? Does your desire and pursuit of money, make your pursuit of God look lame and lackluster? Yog li, God may not truly be your treasure. You may not see Him as your true reward.
Now saying that God is all that we really need is not to say all of our other needs disappear. And this isn’t a call to begin to neglect all of your other needs. But it is a call to depend more on your greatest need.
c. The Land of the Living
You notice that David says God is his portion in the land of the living. He’s saying God is all that I have and all that I need right now in this life. So he’s not saying God is only his treasure in the next life. He’s saying right now, God is all I need.
I know there are some of us here today who don’t have everything we want, and maybe not everything we need. But if you have God, be encouraged. And praise God that your greatest need has already been met in Christ.
Even when we feel like we’re lacking, we can find everything we need in Christ.
IV. God Is Our Deliverer in Times of Trouble
Superhero movies are a big deal right now. Every day you look up there’s a new superhero movie. Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Monkeyman… just seeing if you were still paying attention. Then you have other kinds of action movies like Taken thiab James Bond. We like these kinds of movies, because we’re fascinated by larger than life heroes who can save the day when all looks helpless. Well David paints a similar picture here of God. Look at verse six.
Listen to my cry,rau kuv xav xav ua kom tau; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me.
b. Desperate Need
David again is telling God how he feels. He’s in desperate need. David is at the end of himself. There’s nothing that he or anyone else can do to save him. He’s in trouble. And it’s in this trouble that he goes to God. Once again David knows about God. He knows that God does the impossible. He’d already seen God do the impossible in his own life with some of the battles he’d fought. If God can give bears, and giants, and armies into his hand, then surely he can deliver him from one self-obsessed king.
But look, you don’t ask for something if you don’t know you’re in need. My son cries out for food, because he feels the hunger and knows he needs food. David feels that desperate need and it leads him to cry out to God. He knows that those who pursue him are too strong for him. He knew that only God could set him free in this particular situation.
And you notice how David asks. David doesn’t ask as if he’s entitled to this help. In verse one he says he’s asking for “mercy.” He’s asking that he would not get what he deserves, but instead something he doesn’t deserve: deliverance. And all of our prayers should be the same. Humbly recognizing that you’re too weak. We don’t deserve anything. But we’re asking God to mercifully deliver us.
Often I ask myself how I can help a friend who’s in a position like this. Obviously, I don’t want to just say “God is enough” and belittle their situation. The only thing I know to do is help them get to the place where David is. As a church this a way we can serve each other in times of desperate need. Help them get to the end of themselves when they recognize their need for Him and trust Him more. Pray for them, love them. Often that’s all we can do.
c. Commanded To Ask For Help
It would be foolish for David to consider running to anyone else, when this situation was clearly out of his, and others control. The same is true of us, yet we run elsewhere sometimes. But calls us to come to him.
…call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me. (Psalm 50:15)
God reveals Himself over and over again in Scripture as a deliverer. How about what God did at The Red Sea? What about in the life of Joseph? What about countless battles? When all looks impossible, God can still deliver. There is no enemy who can legitimately stand against Him. Armies fall over, mountains bow down, and winds and waves halt in His presence. And His track record is incredible. He even went to great lengths to deliver us from sin.
d. Khetos txoj ntoo zoo
The prayer in this psalm, with its distress and urgency, reminds me of another prayer in the Bible. qhov tseeb, the person praying is a much later relative of the man of who wrote this Psalm. It reminds me of Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus knows He’s going to the cross. And He pleads with God, and basically asks him if there’s another way. He wants to be delivered from the pain that was ahead of Him. His anguish was so deep that sweated blood.
God did not deliver Jesus from the pain and unimaginable suffering that was ahead of Him. And Jesus did not try escape. He knew this was what He came to do. Jesus died on the cross. And when Jesus hung on that cross, He was suffering so that you and me wouldn’t have to. He was taking punishment for sins that He didn’t commit. He lived a perfect life, He hadn’t offended God. He wasn’t like David, or you, or me. We’re sinners who’ve offended a holy God. He wasn’t a sinner, yet He died a sinner’s death on that cross. He was given over to death, so that we could be delivered.
And He’s called us, not to deliver ourselves, but to trust in the Hero who came to get us. We don’t have to win this battle, we just cling to the One who already has. Believe on Him. Trust Him. Give your life to Him.
The truth is, if you haven’t truly trusted in Christ, God is not your friend in times of trouble. He has not promised protection. He has not promised to be your treasure or your deliverer. Christians do go through troubled times, but our story ends with deliverance. Does yours?
e. The Reason for Deliverance
Koj muab kuv pub dawb los ntawm kuv tsev rau txim, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me.
Here he makes clear why he wants to be delivered, why he wants to be set free – because He wants to praise God as His deliverer. He sees this as another opportunity for God to show Himself off.
Christian, how do you respond when God has delivered you? I can think of many, many times when I felt in distress and pleaded with God for mercy. I felt like it was literally the end of the world. And God answered my prayer. And I was so happy. And I totally forgot about God. I didn’t praise Him. I didn’t honor Him. I forgot about Him. And even forgot about what He did, which seems absurd.
When I was a little kid, the highlight of my year was Christmas. And my birthday was around this time too so it was extra special. At this point in life you don’t have much. You got cheerios, you got naptime, and you got Christmas. I saw the big wheel commercials on TV and I was like, “I gotta have it.” I got a big wheel. And I think I probably shed tears of joy.
Now wouldn’t it be strange if I asked for that for months and months, but when I got back to school and people asked me what I got, I forgot to mention it? How strange is it, that we can plead with God to have mercy on us, but days later forget as if it never happened?
We should do whatever it takes to remember God’s mercy and cultivate grateful hearts, whether it’s journaling or praying with others. Do whatever it takes.
At the end of the Psalm, David says the righteous with gather about Him. He means as he praises God for His goodness, other believers will join Him. This is what we do on Sunday nights as we share these testimonies of grace. We hear of God’s goodness and we gather around one another and praise Him together. What a great deliverer.
There is no situation so horrible that God is incapable of delivering you. When no one can deliver you, God is your deliverer. Run to Him.
I remember as a kid, thinking that my parents could solve everything. It really didn’t matter what happened, Mom and Dad could fix it. I wouldn’t have dreamed of going to the neighbors’ house, or calling a relative. I just went to Mom and Dad, because they got me. I didn’t know how, but I knew they had me.
We need this kind of childlike faith. The kind of faith that assumes, no matter what the trouble, I can go to God for what I need. Let’s pray.