My Spirit and My Times

Today’s reading is Psalm 31.

“Into your hand I commit my spirit,” David says in Psalm 31:4. That sounds beautiful. I want to do that. But what does it mean? Practically, how do I commit my spirit to the Lord? Perhaps Psalm 31:15 gives us some insight. David also says, “My times are in your hand.” That is, my circumstance, my life events, my days, my nights, my seasons, my weeks, my years. If “my times” are in God’s hands, doesn’t that imply my behavior during those times is in God’s hands? Paul provides a great example of this in 2 Corinthians 12:10. Having become convinced of God’s grace in his life through a thorn in the flesh, he says, “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” In other words, “My circumstances are in the Lord’s hands. If He decides to make me sick, if He decides to make me go through a shipwreck, if He decides to put me in prison, if He decides to make me abound in prosperity, I’ll trust Him that He is doing what is right; and I’ll just obey Him no matter what.” Of course, Jesus demonstrates this on the cross. He even quotes it (Luke 23:46). Even if God puts me on a cross. Even if I’m thrown in a fiery furnace or a lion’s den. Even if the fig tree doesn’t blossom, there is no fruit on the vine, the produce of the olive fail, the fields yield no food, the flocks and herds get destroyed, I will rejoice in the Lord (Habakkuk 3:17-18). He’ll get me through. I trust Him. My job will just be to do whatever He says and rejoice in Him no matter what. I know in the end, He’ll work it out for His glory and my good. My spirit and my times are in the Lord’s hands. Praise the Lord!

Tomorrow’s reading is Psalm 31.

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God’s Reputation

Today’s reading is Psalm 10.

If Psalm 10 is a continuation of Psalm 9, the psalmist himself is under affliction (Psalm 9:13). By itself, Psalm 10 only recognizes a great deal of affliction going on in the world. Either way, the psalmist’s #1 concern isn’t actually about the affliction. Rather, the psalmist is most concerned about…are you ready for this? God’s reputation. (Yeah, the post’s title should have clued you in.) Even in Psalm 9:13-14, the psalmist wants mercy, deliverance, and salvation so he can recount God’s praises. In Psalm 10, his concern is about the terrible things being said about God because there is so much affliction going on in the world. Those seeming to get away with sin claim “There is no God” (vs. 4). In vs. 11, they claim “God has forgotten, he has hidden his face, he will never see it.” In vs. 13, the wicked renounce God and claim “You will not call to account.” In vs. 6, though God is not specifically mentioned, the sinful claim, “I shall not be moved; throughout all generations I shall not meet adversity.” That is, “What is God going to do about this?” Certainly, the psalmist decries these statements as godless and wicked in and of themselves, but vs. 13 demonstrates his concern is that because God is standing so far off, the wicked believe they have justification for their claims. In other words, the psalmist is not saying, “God, come do something about this affliction because I’m tired of the pain.” He is saying, “Come do something about this so everyone will know who You really are. Come closer so the atheists, agnostics, skeptics, rebels, and other sinners won’t have a leg to stand on.” I have to ask about my own praying. When I lay out supplications and intercessions, is that my concern? Is my goal in prayer my comfort or God’s glory? The psalmist was squarely in the God’s glory camp. Where are you in your prayers?

Tomorrow’s reading is Psalm 10.

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