Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Psalm 119:81-88 The Pity Party

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwpkGKfotyw&feature=share&list=PLAE37DF69613BB3F3
This video is this portion of Psalm 119 in Hebrew. I think much of the amazing structure of this acrostic poem that follows the letters of the Hebrew alphabet are lost to us in translation. Granted most of us don't understand Hebrew but I think it is good to hear these words in the language that they were originally written. 

I long for you to rescue me! Your word is my only hope.
82 I am worn out from waiting for you to keep your word. When will you have mercy?
83 My life is wasting away like a dried-up wineskin, but I have not forgotten your teachings.
84 I am your servant! How long must I suffer? When will you punish those troublemakers?
85 Those proud people reject your teachings, and they dig pits for me to fall in.
86 Your laws can be trusted! Protect me from cruel liars.
87 They have almost killed me, but I have been faithful to your teachings.
88 Show that you love me and let me live, so that I may obey all of your commands.

I long for you to rescue me! Your word is my only hope
This section of Psalm 119 makes me want to break out the wine and cheese and to send out invitations to a pity party. Some of you may be having a pity party, we can get stuck feeling sorry for our selves and thinking that God needs to come in and give us a new life for us to be happy. Some of you are spiritual babies who refuse to grow up and refuse to feed yourself. You want others to stroke and comfort you, the whole world including God is supposed to cater to you and make you happy. 
Seriously its time to grow up. The word is your only hope but you have to do more than hang it on your walls or your refrigerator. You have to apply it to your life. You have to take faith and act upon it. I long for you to rescue me... I think God longs for you to stop your complaining. He longs for you to grow in your relationship with Him to see him as more than your genie in a bottle that you take out at your connivence to grant all your wishes and desires. 

I am worn out from waiting for you to keep your word. When will you have mercy?
Some of you are worn out from waiting for God to fix your problem, your addiction, your depression, your finances, your health. Honestly I think God must get weary of waiting on us to take action and make a difference in the world around us. We are waiting on mercy when perhaps God is waiting for us to be His mercy to others. It might be time to take our focus of our own blight and misfortune and do something to help someone else. You want mercy then you should sow mercy into the lives of others. I'm in a bit of a tough love stance today. I realize some of you have difficult things on your plate and you are doing your best to be courageous in spite of seemingly dire circumstances. Are there anythings that God has instructed you to do that you have neglected to follow through with? Often the log jam is created because you have not followed through on a previous instruction that God has given you to do. You are waiting for Him to keep His word while he is waiting for you to keep yours. Be a meta thinker today and look at your situation from a different direction and see if you can see something that you missed. Then turn it again and look at it from another angle believing that God wants to help you. That He does have the answers that you need. Those who seek Him will find Him. I believe that goes for His answers as well. Some of you are just waiting to win the lottery but you have not even purchased a ticket. You just want God to hand you everything on a silver platter. In my mind there is a store room filled with wonderful gifts and tools that would help us. Only the gifts are wrapped up in things that make us question God's gift to us. For example you want wisdom, and God says He will give it liberally with out holding back. Wisdom however often comes in difficult packages in the form of things we have to figure out and overcome. Patience is another example - ask for that and God will give you opportunities to learn to be patient in the form of difficult people and situations.  
Maybe the gift you've asked for is joy and you find you are having to fight your way through discouragement and depression. You are having to learn to put on the garments of praise for the spirit of heaviness. You are having to learn to count your blessings and not just wallow in your doubt, regrets and pain. In all of these things Jesus stands ready to walk with us every step of the way but too often our pride and self sufficiency says "I can do by myself"

My life is wasting away like a dried-up wineskin, but I have not forgotten your teachings.
Oh woe is me.... Ok so, dried up wine skin, may indeed be your starting place. The question is are you going to stay there wasting away or are you going to grab hold of a vision of a better future and move by faith towards it. Proverbs 29:18 King James Bible "Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he." It might be time to seek God for a new vision and a fresh wine skin to hold it. Here's another from Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you... Maybe you are suffering from the kind of famine spoken of in Amos 8:11 "The days are coming," declares the Sovereign LORD, "when I will send a famine through the land-- not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD. I think too often we claim to have not forgotten the Lord's teaching but we approach His word more like dinner at the Smorgasbord. We want to only pick and choose the tasty morsels rather than eat a balanced and healthy meal. Stop right now if you are reading this and thinking "Oh _____ needs to hear this message" They might need to hear it but God has you reading it and there is likely something that you see lacking in others lives that needs to be first dealt with in your own life. Take the log out of your own eye first - then help your neighbor with the little splinter in theirs. 

I am your servant! How long must I suffer? When will you punish those troublemakers?
Those proud people reject your teachings, and they dig pits for me to fall in.
Your laws can be trusted! Protect me from cruel liars.
They have almost killed me, but I have been faithful to your teachings.
So my quick response to this portion is to simply say geesh more whining. Instead I am going to paste a portion of links from the Dictionary of Bible Themes regarding how we are to respond to persecution as believers. Maybe you will dig in and study it out for yourself. 

"Attitudes believers are to adopt in facing persecution

Living holy and forgiving lives 1Pe 2:12 See also Mt 5:44Ro 12:19-20;1Pe 2:15,231Pe 3:16

Rejoicing in suffering Ro 5:3-5 See also Ps 30:5; Mt 5:11-12 pp Lk 6:22-23; Ac 5:41; Ac 16:22-25; Ro 12:15; Col 1:24; 1Pe 1:6,8;1Pe 4:12,16

Relying on the promise of God’s grace to endure La 3:22-23 See also Ps 18:17-19Na 1:7-8Ro 8:18,35-392Ti 3:10-11Heb 13:6;Rev 3:10

Trusting in the promise of God’s presence Heb 13:5 See also Ps 23:4;Isa 43:2,5Mt 28:202Co 4:9

Praying always Eph 6:18 See also Ps 35:24Ps 38:15-16Ps 129:5Ps 143:9Mic 7:7-8Lk 6:28Lk 18:7-8;1Pe 4:7"

Show that you love me and let me live, so that I may obey all of your commands. Well hopefully you will dig into the word and do a bit of your own mining for treasures. There are things God wants you to see. Some of you want college level answers but are only in kindergarden in you spiritual growth. Its time you learn to pick up your own spoon and fork and learn to feed yourself on the word. One is not expected to remain in kindergarden forever but to move on to the next grade and the next. Start where you are today but grab ahold of God's bigger vision for your life and future and start moving towards it. Stop and celebrate the little victories along the way. Keep in mind it is a journey and sometimes you need to stop and rest. Rests in music are only temporary pauses that add to the beauty of music. Let Jesus be your guide because He knows the plans he has for you and they are good. 

Heads Up:
So anyway a bit of a heads up - I am going to finish up the rest of Psalm 119 this month, but then I am planning to take much of the month of June off from posting. I feel like the Lord's direction is to shut pretty much, everything down and re-boot. I have written and posted Monday-Friday for what will soon be, in July two full years. As of this post I have 496 published posts for you to choose from. Honestly the number of posts amazes even me. When I first started writing I really did not think I had much of value to say. Nor could I even imagine doing something every day for two years. I am grateful for the encouragement of a few friends who saw something in me and in a sense, prophetically spoke belief and courage into my life that has propelled my faith to write all that I have written thus far. Also I am thankful for others who have come along and cheered me on and commented or let me know when they see me how much they enjoy this blog. Truly I am much stronger and greatly healed by your prayers, love and encouragement on this journey.

So I hope that during June you will take the time to check out some of those posts that you may have missed out on. As always I appreciate your prayers, I'm not sure what the next chapter holds for me but I feel strongly that I need to pause and allow the Lord to refresh and give me His fresh revelation and vision and not just do things because they are there to be done or because I have been doing them. I need to be about doing the specific things that God intends and has designed me to do for His glory. I'm still sorting that all out. I want to thank those of you who are praying for me regularly - your support, belief and prayers mean more to me than you realize. I look forward to being back with you for our July blog birthday month to let you know where the next leg of the journey will be heading.
We still have the rest of this month to finish up Psalm 119 so I will see you back here tomorrow with more encouragement and at times a kick in the pants from the Word of God.
~ Margot
  

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