Psalm 69, Verses 8-12: “I am a foreigner to my own family, a stranger to my own mother’s children; for zeal for your house consumes me, and the insults of those who insult you fall on me. When I weep and fast, I must endure scorn; when I put on sackcloth, people make sport of me. Those who sit at the gate mock me, and I am the song of the drunkards.”
There are so many, and they continue waiting for the sun to break, but the rain keeps pouring down. The clouds swallow them up, and when there is a break and a hole in the cover appears, it closes back up before they even have time to exhale. There are so many. What is their remedy? Where is their salvation?
The psalmist, David, knew this despair deeper and as prolonged as anyone who has ever lived. When you’ve become the “song of drunkards” it’s hit rock bottom. Singing their torment at you with folly and laughter. “Poor David can’t find his God, look at him cower in his fever, Poor David calls out to his God, how stupid a man this believer.” Then they pour another round as they toss rocks his way. I made that lyric up here on the spot, but I imagine it to be pretty close to what the drunkards would sing. What did David do? He pleaded more with God…”You know I am scorned, disgraced and shamed; all my enemies before you. Scorn has broken my heart and has left me helpless; I looked for sympathy, but there was none, for comforters, but I found none. They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst.” Does that sound familiar? The Lord, Jesus Christ, would also be given vinegar for his thirst later down the road.
David had everything stripped away to the last shred of human dignity and Jesus the same. Stripped bare and left for the gnarling teeth of the jackals and fools of this world. To lower depths no man has sunk further. Are you in a lowly position in your life? Are you drowning in the never ceasing downpour? What have been your reactions to pull yourself out? Most will pray and plead, but what else? What did David do? He praised. Then he praised more. His faith in the mercy of the Lord never wavered.
“I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. This will please the Lord more than an ox, more than a bull with its horns and hooves. The poor will see and be glad – you who seek God, may your heart’s live! The Lord hears the needy and does not despise his captive people. Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and all that move in them, for God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah. Then people will settle there and possess it; the children of his servants will inherit it, and those who love his name will dwell there.”
When I feel swallowed up in life…when I’m in despair…I call out to God just like David did, just like most of us do, but for most of my life I only called for the pulling me out of the mess so I would no longer suffer. I thought no deeper than that about the situation. Our Father rebukes and teaches us discipline in many ways. Suffering is one of those methods. So what is your reaction? Are you just asking to be rescued, or are you asking to be changed? Are you just asking for selfish remedy to your problems, or are you making the efforts required to not fall right back into the same problems as before? The problem is not the world, it’s not our friends, it’s not our family, and it’s not with God. It’s us. We have the fatal disease of sin. The cure…the remedy…is with the physician, the healer, Jesus Christ. He comes to get us and his hand is stretched out within grasp of our drowning bodies, but we have to grab it. With hand stretched out to Peter who had sunk into the sea, Jesus said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:31
Faith isn’t just something to hold in your pocket when needed. It comes with responsibilities, and it comes with an owner’s manual that leaves not a single detail of life out – The Bible. It wasn’t until I dutifully started reading mine that I began to gain understanding. That I began to acquire wisdom and knowledge. The reason I knew this psalm was because I read them over and over every single day. Proverbs too. God’s lifeline to mankind. Psalms teaches us how to get along with God. Proverbs teaches us how to get along with world. There are things within them both that force changes in our lives. Changes we don’t want to make. When I began to read God’s word with a faithful heart and eagerness to be close to Him, I found myself and my character accused all over them both. It’s not enough to just read a bible. We have to read it with our hearts…we have to read it from a place of love and fear of our Creator. There is a narrow path to safe haven God will keep us on when we come to him to learn. When we put our full dependence on him. That is the way out. Find it and nothing else will matter. It can keep on raining from now until Christ returns, but you and I will keep trekking down that narrow path singing our praise to him as the storm rages around us. That’s the way out.
I write to you brothers and sisters this truth…If the rain will not stop pouring down in your life and your despair is relentless, forget seeking remedy from anything of the world and from any person within it. Seek the face of God. Grab the hand of his son and accept his gift of salvation. Pour your heart into his service and the learning of his ways.
“After many years of great mercy, after tasting of the powers of the world to come, we still are so weak, so foolish; but, oh! when we get away from self to God, there all is truth and purity and holiness, and our heart finds peace, wisdom, completeness, delight, joy, victory.” – Charles Spurgeon