Sunday, May 26, 2013

Psalms 34:17-19 -- On Being Delivered

"The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all."
Psalms 34:17-19


These verses emphasize that the Lord delivers us from... everything, if we are righteous.  It still says "many are the afflictions of the righteous," and it doesn't mean that we won't experience afflictions, challenges, problems, and all those other synonyms for things that are hard for us, but it does mean that we will be delivered. :)  I think that the middle verse here is kind of a hint for us at what it takes to be righteous... at least partially.  A broken heart and a contrite spirit.  We need to be humble and teachable... open to God.  But more than that.  A broken heart... feeling bereft... isn't fun.  Feeling contrite... like you are so sorry that you've screwed up... that isn't fun either.  But those things are necessary for real change in our lives.  If we're completely happy with our lives as they are, we aren't going to make any real effort to change.  It's when we feel that pain of separation from God, and are so sorry that we've turned our lives into what they are, and we need a way out... a way back to God, back to sanity... back to redemption.  Those are the times that we are willing to let God step in and save us.  And when we are willing to do as God asks.  And although occasionally God saves us without asking anything in return, sometimes he does... as he did with the woman taken in adultery.  He saved her, but he also asked her to sin no more.  God is willing to save us from our mistakes, but he wisely asks us to not make those same mistakes again... so that we learn to save ourselves by avoiding creating the problems in the first place. :)  So, to be righteous is to be repentant.  To know that we are broken, and to be improving and trying to make ourselves whole.
Today, let's pray and plead with the Lord to help us with our problems.  He will.  And let's do all we can to avoid tangling up our lives this much again. :)

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