Monday, March 29, 2010

Cords of Death Which Lead to Prayers of Life and Righteous Rest - Psalm 116 (part 2)

"The cords of death encompassed me,
and the terrors of Sheol came upon me;
I found distress and sorrow.
Then I called upon the name of the LORD:
'O LORD, I beseech Thee, save my life!'
Gracious is the LORD, and righteous;
yes, our God is compassionate.
The LORD preserves the simple;
I was brought low and He saved me.
Return to your rest, O my soul,
For the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.
(Psalm 116:3-7)

Psalm 116 begins with "I love the Lord" and here a second reason for loving God is given.

David loves the Lord because of the gracious and righteous compassion He has bestowed upon him. He has been on the threshhold of death's door, he has faced the fiery furnace of the grave, and he has drunk deeply of distress and sorrow. Things have not been good and pleasant and peachy keen. This fellow has experienced terribly trying troubles and they have moved him to seek the face of God. In doing so, the ear bowing God has heard, has answered, and has saved.

Notice several things with me. First, this prayer of David is neither long nor eloquent. On the contrary it is short and to the point. It is simply, "Save my life!"

Sometimes less is more. We do not need to spew forth many words to be heard. We simply need to utter honest words. "O LORD, I beg you, save my life!" Here is a prayer that acknowledges and expresses need - real need - sincerely realized real need. This simple prayer is to the point as are some of my other favorite prayers in Scripture: "Oh Lord, I believe, help my unbelief" and "O God, have mercy on me a sinner." This is powerful praying!

Second, the character of God is the hope and surety of answered prayer. Look at the description of the One to whom this troubled soul is crying out to. "Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yes, our God is compassionate." This is a God whom we can trust. He will not treat us as we deserve for He is gracious. He will not treat us wrongly for He is righteous. He will not treat us callously for He is compassionate. Beloved, this is the God with whom we have to deal in prayer. Are you encompassed, terrorized, distressed and sorrowful? Flee to this glorious God in prayerful earnestness and true submission.

Third, by casting ourselves upon Him in prayer there is rest. Here is one who has NOT been at rest. Death has dogged David. Hell has hounded him. Sorrow has saddened him. Things have not been restful they are stressful. Yet, he has prayed to the great God who listens to the cries of His children and what is the result? David will return to his rest. "Return to your rest, O my soul, for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you."

In Him alone there is rest. Are you weary and heavy laden? Come to our Lord! In honest and simple prayer, return to your rest "for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you."

"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Mt 11:28).



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