Psalm 62 – More meditation

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C.H Spurgeon refers to Psalm 62 as the “Only” Psalm. This is because of the emphasis David puts on where his faith and hope lie: 

v 1. “My soul waits in silence for God only.”

v 2. “He only is my rock and my salvation.”

v 5. “My soul, wait in silence, for God only.” 

v 6. “He only is my rock and my salvation.” 

Here we see not only that David’s faith and hope are in God alone but the point is that only God can be those things. David later exhorts the readers to trust in Him at all times, casting our cares upon Him, because God is a refuge for us.

It is also cool to see the next time David uses only is when he is contrasting God and men as objects of trust. 

v 9. “Men of low degree are only vanity and men of rank are a lie; in the balances they go up; they are together lighter than breath.”

The contrast is obvious and one the makes the point that we all know: God is infinitely greater and more trustworthy than men. 

“Faith is an abiding duty” says C.H. Spurgeon. I agree. Its a constant battle to trust God rather than my wife or my friend or my family. God deserves our confidence when things are good and when life is spinning.

Lord help me to trust in You and pour my cares out before You because You only are my refuge.

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Psalm 62:1

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“My soul waits in silence for God only; From Him is my salvation.”

Imagine being a run out of your home by your son who decided he wanted to be the head of the household. Not only does your son want to be the man of the house but he wants to cement his place as king by killing you once you’re out. Can you imagine what your response would be? I know mine would be quick, loud and violent. 🙂

This is the position that King David found himself with his son Absalom. For details regarding Absalom and his character refer to 2 Samuel 13. Absalom gained enough support in his desire to take his father’s throne that he moved into the old capital of Judah, declared himself king, and began a civil war. Absalom was successful to some degree as King David fled Jerusalem for refuge in Mahanaim. Absalom moved to Jerusalem and took the throne while King David was in hiding.

This is most likely the context in which King David wrote Psalm 62. I encourage you to read the entire Psalm as it is a convicting picture of one who trusts in the Lord during a time of complete breakdown in family and kingdom.

I want to comment on the first verse because I felt it rebuke me personally. There are things that trouble, afflict and cause stress in my life but none rise to the extent as to what King David was experiencing when he wrote this Psalm. When I do experience my troubles and afflictions what do I do? I’m not silent about it; I complain. If I’m not complaining I’m confessing my worries and troubles to family and friends. If I’m not complaining or confessing to friends/family then I’m actively doing something to change my circumstances and I’m trusting in my efforts to get it done.

In reading about this Psalm online I came across this commentary:

“We feel the outpouring of grief into the heart of a friend to be so sweet. At the same time, he who talks much of his troubles to men is apt to fall into a way of saying too little of them to God; while, on the other hand, he who has often experienced the blessed alleviation which flows from silent converse with the Eternal, loses much of his desire for the sympathy of his fellows. It appears to me now as if spreading out our distress too largely before men served only to make it broader, and to take away its zest; and hence the proverb, “Talking of trouble makes it double.” On the contrary, if when in distress we can contrive to maintain calm composure of mind, and to bear it always as in the sight of God, submissively waiting for succour from him, according to the words of the psalmist, Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation; in that case, the distress neither extends in breadth nor sinks in depth. It lies upon the surface of the heart like the morning mist, which the sun as it ascends dissipates into light clouds. Agustus F. Tholuck, in “Hours of Christian Devotion,” 1870.

Convicted yet? I am. My heart aches when I see my shortcomings. I pray that I would be so solid in the Lord that not only in my darkest times but also in my most common struggles I would be able to say, “My soul waits, in silence, for God only.”

P.S. Why did I always refer to David as King in this post? The point was that David was the God appointed King of Israel. Not only had God appointed him as King but He had already assigned David’s successor (Solomon, not Absalom). David knew what God had promised and He knew that nobody can thwart His plans. In fact, it was King Solomon who wrote, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” (Prov 19:21) I think this is why David was able to say, “From Him comes my salvation.”

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The Cripplegate – “Jesus Never Said That” by Byron Yawn

July 20, 2011
Jesus Never Said That

by Byron Yawn

The following is a citation from a current writing project, “Suburbianity.”

Let’s be honest, the desire for personal fulfillment is what fills many churches and moves the majority of Christian books. It’s an ever-present tease. It’s the life-coach guy disguised as a preacher, a romantic ballad disguised as a Christian song and a self-help seminar disguised as a sermon. It’s everywhere. It hooks us all. “You too can have impactful and an influential life.” “You can do something great.” Some authors and pastors come right out and guarantee it. “Do these few things and your life will change.”

Even in those instances when authors go out of their way to stress the fact that it’s not about you, they go on for two hundred pages to talk about you. Even if the subject is heaven, it’s not about enjoying God’s Glory and the Lamb slain for all eternity. It’s about how we can escape our unsatisfactory conditions and all the pagans here on earth. Even if it is about finding God’s will, it’s not really about God’s will. It’s about God recognizing how useful we are to Him. When they stress the importance of service, it’s not really about others. It’s about the satisfaction we can get in serving others. When they encourage you to pray, it’s not about communion with God as much as it’s about satisfying your soul’s spiritual itch. Even when they stress community it’s not about a group of people suffering for the sake of the Gospel. It’s about you finding a place of significance. Words like best, purpose, authentic, influence, intentional are deliberate. They’re buzzwords for nominal suburban Christians. We eat them up. We love them.

There’s good reason. These themes tap into the deep ache from which every human on this planet suffers. A vacancy we all know is there and can’t ignore. A growl of our soul we spend our lives trying to satisfy with all the wrong stuff. People. Money. Success. Possessions. Appearances. Sex. But none of this quite fits that space. So we move on to the next thing. We go on wandering the planet not knowing who we really are, or what we’re supposed to be doing. Our legacy is comprised of tasks, routines, the latest TV series, soccer practices and grocery lists. We’re nomadic and homeless. Empty. So, we ache. This is not as God intended. We’re meant for so much more. Believe me, there is something that fits that hole in your life. It’s out there and you can find it. When you do, you’ll know it. It’s an encounter destined to change us forever. A point from which we can never return. A bench mark. We are never the same. Like when Moses wandered into the path of a burning bush, things change. At that moment he found himself and what he was supposed to be. Your burning bush awaits.

See how easy that was. Admit it! You were sucked right into the vortex of the best-seller list. I had you. Open mouth and insert hook. You were thinking, “My life is about to change. I’m not settling for mediocre anymore. I’m going to start journaling.” I was Billy Blazes and you were about to buy a squeegee you didn’t need. Without even realizing it we did a one-eighty right back to us and our happiness. Deepak Chopra could have written that. He probably has somewhere. There is nothing uniquely Christian about it. What? You’ve been drinking this “kool-aide?” It’s not Christianity. It’s ‘Suburbianity.”

“Suburbianity” is the general conviction among professing evangelicals that the primary aim of Christ’s death was to provide us with a fulfilled life. It’s subtle, but it’s pervasive. It comes through in nearly all forms of Christian media – from songs to books. God has big plans for you. You are important. You should not be discontented. There’s more out there for you. This is the suburban gospel. By it we’re saving countless sinners from a poor self-image and an absence of fulfillment, but not from a Holy God.

This message has been recycled and repackaged so many times it’s impossible to count the versions. It’s easy to get caught up in it. It’s been here from the beginning of time. Satan used it on Eve. You’re important. You’re happiness is essential. Don’t let anything hold you back. Blah! Blah! Blah! The only difference between Eve and us is that she had to be convinced God didn’t want her happiness. Nowadays, it’s all God wants!

Christianity is not about any of that ridiculous nonsense. In fact, this message is stripping the Church of its power. It’s not even biblical. You can’t find it anywhere in the Bible. Even if you cite Moses and his encounter with a fiery shrub, he would be shocked what we’ve done with his story. Even if you make Jesus say these things, he didn’t. Jesus never commissioned anything close to this. We’ve made all this stuff up. “But,” someone will object, “God wants us to be happy. Jesus said in John 10:10 that he came to give us ‘life more abundantly.’” But, this is exactly my point. That’s what we assume because we read the Bible through the grid of self. These types of takeaways are the byproduct of a narcissistic hermeneutic. There’s no way to read the Gospels or the Epistles at face value and come away thinking that Jesus walked this earth delivering a self-improvement seminar. That never happened.

Now, admittedly, I’m a skeptic. I am the perpetual enemy of the status quo. It can sound as if I’m throwing all practical teaching under the bus. But, I’m not. What would I do with the book of Proverbs? I don’t mean to suggest happiness and purpose aren’t effects of the gospel. Indeed they are. But, biblical happiness and purpose are counterintuitive and dissimilar to our suburban versions. More to the point, happiness and contentment were not the aim of the atonement.

The real danger in all this narcissistic white noise is an assumed Gospel. An assumed Gospel is the real toxin of Suburbianity. Think about it. How many sermons have you sat through which offered principles for life change, or for a better Christian life, but never mentioned the Gospel or any of its elements as the basis for both? How many books have you read on the spiritual life which never mentioned the cross? Countless. Me too. Is this really dangerous? After all, don’t we already have the Gospel in mind by virtue of being Christians? Exactly! That’s the point.

There are countless of decent church folk who assumed for decades that “good” equaled “godly.” Only when someone stopped assuming the gospel and confronted “good people” with the cross did they discover they the truth. They needed to repent of their goodness. We can’t assume it if we are going to be faithful to it. Without a constant emphasis of the Gospel all our principles for better living end in moralism. Moralism condemns. If you tell a man how he can be a better husband, you must also tell him Christ’s righteousness relieves him of the burden of being a perfect one.

As it is, the Gospel is a ticker running seamlessly across the bottom of evangelicalism. It is the white noise of Christianity. We assume people are saved because we’ve been conditioned to. We hear something “spiritual” and assume Christian. We see “morality” and assume regeneration. We see “good” and assume godly. We see “church attendance” and assume faith in Christ. In all of this we never ask the central question of the Gospel, “In what are you trusting for the salvation of your soul?” We can’t assume the Gospel.

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Finally, a respite.

A girl once said to me, “You don’t need money to live this life.” I looked at her and said, “You must be high…or, you must not have a family that you are responsible for.” Turns out she was both.

Out of the last 30 days I have worked 25 of them – with my longest uninterrupted stretch being 11 days. Remember, 12-15 hour days. Why did I work so much you ask? I made the mistake of taking my car to the mechanic and telling him I needed him to fix the AC compressor. A few hours and two phone calls later, the mechanic had discovered other “very critical” parts that needed to be replaced. To be honest, if it were just me I would have told him I’d fix it later. But due to the fact that my wife and son depend on that car I was hooked when the mechanic said “very critical”. Cha-Ching, Cha-Ching….Can we say overtime?

Another reason I’ve worked so much is that we’ve had our much anticipated Kay Family Vacation coming up. I traded days with another co-worker and have worked additional overtime to make sure we are covered for everything we need.

So I put down the water bottle and have been drinking Rockstars, Monsters, Redbulls and coffee to keep me going until our vacation.

Finally, a respite.

We all met up in Oregon and traveled to a beach house my parents have rented for the week. So far so good! The weather has been great and the kids are providing our entertainment. I was thinking it’s probably been 12-15 years since we have all been together for this amount of time in the same house. Our family has doubled in size since the last time we lived in the same house.

Below are some pictures of our trip so far!

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Judas Iscariot, the Suicide of Satan, and the Salvation of the World

Judas Iscariot, the Suicide of Satan, and the Salvation of the World.

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Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!

For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words
and blameless in your judgment.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will return to you.
Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,
O God of my salvation,and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips,and my mouth will declare your praise.
For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;
build up the walls of Jerusalem;
then will you delight in right sacrifices,
in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.

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Psalm 28


To you, O Lord, I call;
my rock, be not deaf to me,
lest, if you be silent to me,
I become like those who go down to the pit.

Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy,
when I cry to you for help,
when I lift up my hands
toward your most holy sanctuary.

Do not drag me off with the wicked,
with the workers of evil,
who speak peace with their neighbors
while evil is in their hearts.

Give to them according to their work
and according to the evil of their deeds;
give to them according to the work of their hands;
render them their due reward.

Because they do not regard the works of the Lord
or the work of his hands,
he will tear them down and build them up no more.

Blessed be the Lord!
For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy.

The Lord is my strength and my shield;
in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults,and with my song I give thanks to him.

The Lord is the strength of his people;
he is the saving refuge of his anointed.
Oh, save your people and bless your heritage!
Be their shepherd and carry them forever.

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