Asking God to Be God

Today’s reading is Psalm 35.

The first few verses of Psalm 35 seem odd to us. They picture God as lawyer and warrior. Someone is contending against me (and that is actually a legal term), contend against them for me. Someone is fighting against me, rise up and fight them for me. He really digs into the warrior metaphor in vss. 2-3, asking God to take up shields and weapons, and saying to David, “I will be your salvation!”

Then there are vss. 5-6 asking the Lord to have His angel chase the enemies away like chaff before the wind (yes, you should remember Psalm 1:4 here). What is going on here?

Let’s not read this in a vacuum. Look in Exodus 23:20-33. I’ll provide some excerpts.

Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared for you…But if you carefully obey his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries…I will send my terror before you and will throw into confusion all the people against whom you shall come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you…

David didn’t just make up his prayer on the spot. He wasn’t just thinking of all the things he could say and created these ideas. David knew the Torah.

What is he doing in these prayers? He is asking God to be God. He is asking God to be for him, what He promised to be for Israel. He is asking God to be what God has already said He would be for His people.

Do you want to pray more effectively? Take a page out of David’s book and ask God to be in your life what God has declared He is.

Tomorrow’s reading is Psalm 35.


Click here to take about 15 minutes to listen to the Text Talk conversation between Andrew Roberts and Edwin Crozier sparked by this post!

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Today’s reading is Acts 13.

Through Jesus forgiveness of sins is proclaimed. That forgiveness means being freed and justified from everything from which the Law of Moses could not free or justify anyone. What a message! Forgiveness. Freedom. Having been enslaved to sin and pursuing a law that could not set them free, you would think the Jews who heard this message would have been overjoyed. And they were. Until they saw the Gentiles were as well. They were overjoyed until they saw Paul’s message was drawing in Gentiles who never listened to the message of the Jews. Then jealousy kicked in. And they chose slavery. They judged themselves unworthy of the message by rejecting it. And these are our two options. Either accept the message and be free or judge yourself unworthy of the good news and remain enslaved. We each get what we ask for. Be free. Be forgiven. Turn to Jesus.

Tomorrow’s reading is Acts 14.

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Today’s reading is Romans 3.

When we hear “pass over,” we most likely think of the time when God passed over the Israelites who had the blood of the lamb on their door posts when He destroyed the first born of Egypt. But there is another pass over that is even more important. Since the beginning of time, God has consistently passed over the sins of mankind. On rare occasions have we seen God break out in judgment against the sins of anyone (the flood, Nadab and Abihu, Uzzah, Ananias and Sapphira). Usually, God has allowed each of us to sin without immediate judgment. He has passed over our sins. Why? Because He wants to save us, not only being just in His judgment, but also being a justifier of those who have faith in Jesus. He has passed over in order to bring Jesus into the world and to bring the message of Jesus to us and to let us get the message of Jesus to others. Let’s get that message out to others as long as God passes over.

Monday’s reading is Romans 4.

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