He Hears and We Praise

Hear my cry, O God; 
Attend to my prayer. 
From the end of the earth I will cry to You, 
When my heart is overwhelmed; 
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. 

For You have been a shelter for me, 
A strong tower from the enemy. 
I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; 
I will trust in the shelter of Your wings. 

Selah 

For You, O God, have heard my vows; 
You have given me the heritage of those who fear Your name. 
You will prolong the king’s life, 
His years as many generations. 
He shall abide before God forever. 
Oh, prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him! 

So I will sing praise to Your name forever, 
That I may daily perform my vows. 

  • Psalm 61 – A Psalm of David

During the course of our nightly Bible reading, my wife and I encountered this Psalm this week. As you were just reading it — if your experience was like mine — you may have only seen the text for its informational value, without genuinely identifying with writer’s perspective.  After all, the life of David was nothing like ours, right?  He was a shepherd, a warrior, a fugitive, and ultimately king over Israel.  And although the low points in David’s life as a husband, father, and leader are well-known, his fierce devotion and reverence for The Lord was exceptional — so much so that God declared that his lineage would lead to The Messiah, who Himself, is destined to occupy David’s throne eternally (2 Samuel 7:16; Luke 1:31-33).

So, “what” you may be asking, “does this have to do with me?”  Although the specifics of David’s life and times are far removed from ours, virtually all of us can relate to the adverse emotional and spiritual effects that he suffered.  Like the psalmist, we too can feel so overwhelmed, defeated, vulnerable, and abandoned, that we cannot help but plead to God alone for His intervention on our behalf.  Like David, we also can find security in the truth of God’s Word, encouraged by His record of faithfulness to those who know and trust Him.

The Lord is more than able to hear — and lovingly respond to — our longings for His compassion and mercy.  Does that hope give you the desire to sing praise to His name forever?

– Peace –

Practically Speaking

Selections from Proverbs 15: 

A gentle answer turns away wrath, 
But a harsh word stirs up anger. 
The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, 
But the mouth of fools spouts folly.  (1-2) 

 
A soothing tongue is a tree of life, 
But perversion in it crushes the spirit.  (4) 

 
The lips of the wise spread knowledge, 
But the hearts of fools are not so.  (7) 

 
A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, 
But the slow to anger calms a dispute.  (18) 

 
The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, 
But the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.  (28) 

 

A couple does not have to be married for very long before they realize that conflict is inevitable.  No matter how romantic the courtship, wedding, and honeymoon may have been, there comes a time when a wife and husband find themselves disagreeing with each other and/or behaving in ways that fall short of each other’s expectations.

Now although conflict cannot be avoided, “fighting” — as in raised voices, demeaning words, threatening actions, hostile feelings, and such — certainly can be avoided.  These excerpts from Proverbs 15 show us that the Scriptures are rich in practical applications for how to speak with righteousness and wisdom, rather than foolishness and wickedness.

As you might imagine, a whole day’s worth of writing on the subject of conflict-resolution in marriage would not cover all there is to say, but our challenge to you is this: Take time to re-read those verses (out loud, together) and compare them against your typical, characteristic behaviors.  Do you — or does your spouse — find that you are more at the slow-to-anger end of the spectrum, or the hot-tempered end?  Let’s be wise enough to recognize where there is room for improvement; not foolish enough to “justify” our communication short-comings.

Peace –