Our Rock and Deliverer – Psalms 34 and 62

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.  Psalm 34:19 NKJV

What is “righteousness?”  Some possible responses are living a life that is pleasing to God, walking with and honoring Him by seeking after Him and following His commandment to love others and make morally correct choices in His eyes. 

You may have a different definition.  But in all cases, there is a standard of behavior set by God that He wants us to sincerely honor, both with our heart and with our actions.  The unfortunate situation is that, aside from Jesus, we humans generally do a lousy job of living up to our end of this.  That is why Jesus Christ had to come in the first place – to personally bear all the consequences we earned and deserve through our consistently falling short of God’s holiness and purity.  By choosing and grasping onto Jesus’ suffering and victorious resurrection, we believers are thoroughly cleansed and given a new covering of God’s righteousness.  He places His Holy Spirit within our hearts. God does for us what we absolutely could not do for ourselves.  He continues to extend new mercies to us each day, to forgive and help us through our failures and shortcomings. Because of Him, we believers are the righteous, cloaked with the righteousness of Christ.

The Lord gives us His inspired and divine word to lead us and encourage us each day. One source He gives is the Psalms. Many of these were penned by David as he walked in faith through times of trouble and challenge.  These holy words speak to our hearts to reveal exactly who God is and to point out the many ways He blesses, delivers and encourages us each day of our lives.

Being a God-follower does not mean that we will be without trouble.  In fact, we may find that our troubles even increase once we decide to follow Jesus and make Him Lord in our heart.

The Psalms encourage us to lay our troubles out before the Lord and to share them with Him.  He wants to hear from us and in return to show us His love and mercy.  As our Rock, He will safely deliver us through the situations and people that come against us.  He will comfort us when we are in mourning or pain, and will help us to walk through the anxieties and fears of life to enter the peace of His Presence.

God spoke through David to teach us many things about His great love and mercy towards us, and His desire to grant us Christ’s riches, power and freedom.

This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them. Psalm 34:6-7 NKJV

By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, David also wrote many prophecies about the coming Messiah.  For example, in Psalm 22, he talks about the suffering that the Messiah will go through, including the piercing of His hands and feet on the cross.

When we go through our own trials and suffering, we are encouraged by the Psalms to spend time with the Lord and to seek His face.  He alone is our Rock, our Fortress, and our Deliverer, seeing us through all the difficult times that we all face.

My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense, I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory, the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.  Psalm 62:5-7 NKJV

David faced many challenges in his life, but he had also been given many gifts and talents from God.  He had strength and courage, which he initially used to defend his father’s flock of sheep from bears and lions, and later to defend his Heavenly Father’s sheep (the people of Israel) from Goliath and the invading Philistines.

David also had musical talent which he used to play in King Saul’s court, divinely calming Saul when a troubling spirit came over him.  He also had godly gifts of wisdom and patience, which he used to spare Saul’s life on multiple occasions. During these times, it looked like the logical thing to do would be to “help God out” by killing Saul, who was seeking to kill David in jealousy.  But David restrained himself, knowing that God alone was sovereign over the days appointed to King Saul’s life. Saul’s kingdom would be turned over to David at God’s appointed time, not David’s.

David acquired abundant riches as Israel’s king.  This provided a new temptation – when financial blessing comes, it is all too easy to put our faith in the gift rather than the Giver. But David wrote:

10 If riches increase, do not set your heart on them. Psalm 62:10b NKJV

The Psalms of David show us that if we put God first in our lives, He will give us all the things we need, such as shelter, salvation, hope, honor, stability, refuge and deliverance from our fears and troubles.  God listens to our cries, sees our tears, and brings us His healing and wholeness when we are brokenhearted.

18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  Psalm 34:18 NIV

God is so good.  May He richly bless you today, bringing you His light, hope, encouragement and peace to overcome any darkness or trouble.

Reflection

What do you need from the Lord today?  The Lord is attentive to our cry, and does not wish that you should lack any good thing.

What types of “wealth” has the Lord seen fit to gift to you, so that you may share with others?  This may or may not include money, but may also be in the form of knowledge, experience, musical or writing talent, carpentry or mechanical skills, wisdom, or athleticism – anything that can be used for teaching or helping others.

Is there a skill or accomplishment in my life where I have taken personal credit for what God has provided to me?   How can I restore the credit to Him whom it is due?

Jesus, our true Rock and Deliverer, we offer ourselves to You, the source of all our gifts, talents and blessings.  Help us to use these gifts to bring pleasure to You as we serve others, following Your lead.  Lead us each day to be closer to You, our eternal hope. Amen.

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