Wednesday, April 13, 2022

           In some Bibles, Psalm 70 is called a petition.  And it is.  By my count, there are at least nine different petitions or pleas in this one chapter.  David was asking the LORD to go to work on his behalf.  Every plea is asking God to do for us what we are powerless to do for ourselves.  It was like David was saying, “Lord, you have to take action.  I am powerless and helpless.”  His pleas many, many years ago are the same pleas we have today—to be delivered from sin, ruin and anyone who means us harm or even Satan himself.  There is a sense of urgency in this Psalm.  We read words like “hasten,” “quickly,” and “do not delay.”  We often pray with urgency—when we’re sick, when we’re struggling or when we experience guilt over something we’ve done or left undone. 
            David’s first plea was simply for God to save him.  Our relationship with the Lord begins in the same way—save me.  Only two words but they change everything about today and tomorrow.  During Holy Week, we often think about salvation.  We think about all that God did to save us and to set us free from sin, ruin and even Satan’s clutches.  God looked upon the world through the eyes of love and mercy and came to the world to save us when we could not save ourselves.  Jesus’ mission can be summarized with two similar words—save us. 
            In verse 4, David prayed that he and others would rejoice and be glad in the LORD as they sought Him.  There is no lasting joy apart from the LORD.  There is no peace apart from Him.  This shepherd man after God’s own heart teaches us that life is about exalting God and glorifying God with our choices and decisions.  Jesus came to bring glory to the Father.  In the Garden of Gethsemane, the Son of God relinquished His will in favor of the Father’s will.  On the cross, when Jesus could have called legions of angels to fight for Him, He chose to stay on the cross...high and lifted up.  Indeed, from the cross, Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them.” 
            On this Wednesday, we are inclined to echo the words of verse five—we are poor and needy.  Poor in spirit and needy in our sinfulness.  The Lord is our deliverer, David wrote.  On Palm Sunday, we celebrate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  And today we pray for Him to enter our hearts and enter into our humble and sinful state and to deliver us from sin, shame and guilt.  He can be our deliverer because He is the Lord.  We do not make Jesus Lord, God already has. We simply submit to His lordship over our times and lives.
            We said that David wrote with urgency as the Holy Spirit inspired him to compose Psalm 70.  And our business with the Lord is always urgent.  We cannot delay in seeking the Lord.  It is a daily, even moment-by-moment undertaking.  The late UCLA basketball coach John Wooden often said “be quick but don’t hurry.”  His message was to be quick to attend to the important things but do not hurry or rush to get through them.  Enjoy the Lord in those times and let God be with you.  May we not delay our pursuit of the Lord.  Martyn Lloyd-Jones once wrote, “We are all one in sin, one in failure, one in hopelessness, one in need of the Lord Jesus Christ and His great salvation.”  David knew this.  And centuries later, David is still teaching this truth to us in this great Psalm.  Today, we bring our neediness and hopelessness to the Lord for His grace and attention.
            Martyn Lloyd-Jones would also write that the great need of mankind is to be humbled.  Humbling is essential before God is able to do anything with us.  This week, perhaps unlike any other week of the year, humbles us and crushes us as we give thought to how we got to where we are.  And in spite of our wickedness, Christ came to us so that we might be with Him.  Have a great Wednesday!  Make plans to join us daily at noon for worship this week, Maundy Thursday at 7:00pm, our Sunrise Worship at Midway at 7:00am on Easter and Easter Worship at 10:55am.    

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