Reading: Psalm 35:17-21
How long, LORD, will you look on?
Rescue me from their ravages,
my precious life from these lions.
I will give you thanks in the great assembly;
among the throngs I will praise you.
Do not let those gloat over me
who are my enemies without cause;
do not let those who hate me without reason
maliciously wink the eye.
They do not speak peaceably,
but devise false accusations
against those who live quietly in the land.
They sneer at me and say, “Aha! Aha!
With our own eyes we have seen it” (NIV).*
Sumac in autumn — Photo by David Kitz
This portion of Psalm 35 begins with David’s cry for help, “How long, LORD, will you look on? Rescue me from their ravages, my precious life from these lions.”
When I am in distress, help can never arrive too soon. I want an instant answer from God. Better yet, He should have pre-empted this disappointment—this disaster. But often God doesn’t instantly ride to our rescue. If poor choices are the cause of our distress, He may let us experience the consequences of our folly. When you are enrolled in “The School of Hard Knocks” the test comes first and then you learn the lesson. Often patient endurance brings about an invaluable change in character through the work of the Holy Spirit. James, the brother of our Lord, reminds us of this truth:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything (James 1:2-4).
But all of our troubles do not come as a result of bad decisions on our part. Yet man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward (Job 5:7). Job reminds us that even the good and the just will at times face suffering. Anyone who tells you differently is not being faithful to the full counsel of scripture. Satan severely tested Job, but he remained firm in his faith.
When hardships come will you stand firm? When the haughty accuse can you bear it? David felt the sting of false accusation. They sneer at me and say, “Aha! Aha! With our own eyes we have seen it.”
Thanks be to God. We can bring our trials and burdens to the Lord in prayer. He hears and in His perfect time He responds.
Response: Lord, you know the troubles and trials that I face daily. You are my help and my strength. I will give you thanks in the great assembly; among the throngs I will praise you. Amen.
Your Turn: Do you learn from God’s word or from “The School of Hard Knocks” or from both?
* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA
Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer has won the 2021 Best Book of the Year Award. For a closer look at Volumes II and III click here.