Monday, June 25, 2007

Wait Upon The Lord

This morning I was reading in the Psalms and I came across the following verses:

Make Your ways known to me, Lord;
teach me Your paths.
Guide me in Your truth and teach me,
for You are the God of my salvation;
I will wait for You all day long.
Remember, Lord, Your compassion
and Your faithful love,
for they have existed from antiquity.
Do not remember the sins of my youth
or my acts of rebellion;
in keeping with Your faithful love,
remember me
because of Your goodness, Lord.
Psalm 25:4-7

There is a lot said in these four short verses; we would do well to meditate on what we are taught here, and to make this our prayer today. Let's look at this passage piece by piece and see what treasure we can mine from its depths.

David begins by saying "Make your ways known to me, Lord; teach me Your paths." Compare this with what Moses wrote in Exodus 33:13 when he prayed, "Now if I have indeed found favor in Your sight, please teach me Your ways, and I will know You, and will find favor in Your sight." This almost seems like there is something out of order here, but Moses' prayer, just like that of David, is that God would teach him His ways, and then by following them he would find favor with God who would then reveal more of Himself, which he would follow....and so the process continues on and on. And since God is infinite this cycle will just continue into eternity.

But David didn't stop there; he continues, "Guide me in You truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation..." Jesus, while praying for us, said in John 17:17, "Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth." Sanctify is just a fancy word that means to be set apart - Jesus is praying that the Father would, through the truth of His word, set us apart from the world to be His own. David realized this, and his prayer was that God would guide him and teach him as he studied the Scriptures. Look at what David wrote in another Psalm:

How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping Your word.
Psalm 119:9

David saw the importance of meditating on God's word; he saw that the only way to be pure, or set apart, was by keeping God's word. So he prayed that God would guide him and teach him. We would do well today to follow this example set by David - apart from the guidance of the Holy Spirit we cannot grasp or understand what God is saying in His word.

Next notice that David recognizes that it was God alone who is the source his salvation and so he said that he would wait for Him all day long. How many times do we, as 21st century Christians, rush into God's presence and rush through a time of prayer and Bible reading without ever getting anything out of it? The reason for that is found right here - we are not willing to wait all day for God. God has given us a promise - that we will find Him when we search for Him with our whole heart (Jeremiah 39:13). When we hurriedly approach God, and then rush on to something else, we are missing out on the blessing of actually finding Him. David however, was willing to wait for God all day if that is what it took.

Lastly David recognizes who God is, and that it is only because of His compassion and faithful love that he had any chance of finding and knowing Him. And it is based solely on that compassion and love then that David then asks God to not remember the sins of his youth, or his acts of rebellion. Notice that David asks God to forget two things here: the sins of his youth, and his acts of rebellion. What David is doing here is confessing that not only had he sinned unintentionally (the sins his of youth) but also deliberately (acts of rebellion) and he is acknowledging that both are an affront to a holy God, and both require His forgiveness.

David then makes his appeal, based again not on anything he had done, but upon the faithful love and compassion of his God.

Spend some time today praying through this passage, and wait for God to speak to you - you will be blessed. And remember, it is God who has promises that we will find Him, but only when we have searched for Him with all our heart. So today, wait upon the Lord
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