Tuesday, July 24, 2012

God can handle your rant

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Psalm 7:1-17

"Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, But establish the just; For the righteous God tests the hearts and minds. My defense is of God, Who saves the upright in heart." Psalm 7:9,10

This psalm sounds like a bit of a rant. According to its title, David wrote it about a specific incident or person. He names "Cush a Benjamite." My Bible's notes suggest that it may  be connected with his flight from king Saul in the early days before he was king. Or perhaps David wrote it after Absalom tried to take over the throne when he fled the city and on his way out of town encountered Shimei, a Saul loyalist who cursed him roundly (2 Samuel 16:5-8).

In it he holds little back.
  • He calls for help: "Save me... deliver me..."
  • He tells God he didn't do anything to deserve this: "If I have done this: If there is iniquity in my hands, If I have repaid evil to him who was at peace with me..."
  • He suggests God come to his aid: "Arise O Lord ... Lift Yourself up ... Rise up..."
  • He even imagines details of his enemy's defeat: "He made a pit and dig it out and has fallen into the ditch which he made."
  • And then he ends on a note of serenity: "I will praise the Lord..."

I doubt that when David wrote it he had any idea we would be poring over it thousands of years later, sometimes even clucking our tongues over some of its vindictive passages. He just, as they say about personal writing, opened a vein onto the page, or scroll.

Judging by how the psalm ends, the method worked. It settled him down. By drawing his attention away from his enemy and back to God he regained peace.

This psalm's honest tone invites us to be just as frank with God. Can we give ourselves permission to do what David did? Can we bare our souls to God no matter how we sound and in this way write the poison from our systems and draw our focus back on God who is bigger than any vexing person or problem?

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for the examples of honest writing in the Bible. Help me to use this means of working through my feelings to draw my attention from things that upset, frighten or perplex me, back to You. Amen.

MORE: Journaling

"Journaling is a time-tested and proven method of recording how God interacts with us in our everyday lives, as well as how we ourselves interact with Him. Journaling can be for the purpose of recording observations in Scripture, reflecting how God is dealing with us, or for recording our prayers. Regarding Scripture, journaling serves the useful purpose of assisting us in taking time to reflect and meditate on God's Word"  - From "The Journals of Jim Elliot"

For lots more information and tips about journaling and Bible study, explore Walk With the Word, especially the Journaling track.


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