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Psalm 64

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Psalm 64:  I think most of us can find at least one thing to complain about each day.  Perhaps something is unfair at work or school.  Maybe a driver cuts you off or the weather is poor.  In reality, most of us ought to give more thought to the many things with which we have been blessed.  In this short song, King David provides us with a new perspective.  Let us begin by reading this short Psalm:

"Hear me, my God, as I voice my complaint; protect my life from the threat of the enemy. Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked, from the plots of evildoers.  They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim cruel words like deadly arrows. They shoot from ambush at the innocent; they shoot suddenly, without fear. They encourage each other in evil plans, they talk about hiding their snares; they say, “Who will see it?”  They plot injustice and say, “We have devised a perfect plan!” Surely the human mind and heart are cunning.

But God will shoot them with his arrows; they will suddenly be struck down. He will turn their own tongues against them and bring them to ruin; all who see them will shake their heads in scorn. All people will fear; they will proclaim the works of God and ponder what he has done.  The righteous will rejoice in the Lord and take refuge in him; all the upright in heart will glory in him!"

Rather than simply complaining, David offers begins by offering his concerns to God.  Protect me and hide me from those who seek to harm me or plot against me.  While our concerns may differ from those expressed by David, we certainly experience cruel words and injustice.  However, David understands that God will deal effectively with evil.  David likens God's faithfulness to shooting arrows - quick and accurate.  God uses the very words of the offender to bring them to justice.  Everyone, the righteous and the evil will see what God has done.  We, like David, will rejoice in the Lord and take refuge in Him! 

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Psalm 51

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Psalm 51 was written by David after he had been confronted by the prophet Nathan about committing adultery with Bethsheba.  In addition to this sexual sin, David caused the death of Uriah, Bethsheba's husband.  Consider David's attitude toward God as he deals with the guilt of his sin.

"Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love;  according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.  Wash away all my iniquityand cleanse me from my sin.  For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.  Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place.

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.  Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.  Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you.  Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, you who are God my Savior, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.  Open my lips, Lord,and my mouth will declare your praise. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.

May it please you to prosper Zion, to build up the walls of Jerusalem. Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous, in burnt offerings offered whole; then bulls will be offered on your altar."

David does not seek to defend his actions for they are indefensible (as are our sins).  Rather, he seeks mercy from a loving God.  David admits his guilt and seeks the cleansing that only God can impart.  David understands that his sin is a sin against God and that God's judgment is right and just.  David cries out not only for cleansing, but for renewal of the mind and spirit.  This is the same renewal spoken of by Paul in Romans 12, "... be transformed by the renewing of your mind..." 

Like David, we are to admit our guilt before God.  We are to cry out to God for mercy from a just and loving God.  We are to seek the cleansing and renewal that ONLY God can do.  Then, we can serve as a witness to others about God with a contrite heart.

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