Thursday, August 13, 2020

Psalm 7

Tag.  It's one of the most popular games of childhood.  It can be traced back at least 150 years, but it's origins may go much farther back.  It's popularity persists because of it's simplicity: no equipment is needed, and there are hundreds of variations to suit players' preferences.  One basic variation is to create a place that is “safe.” For those of us who tire easily, this place of rest is a must for any game.

If only life were as simple as a game of Tag.  We know it's not, but when I read Psalm 7 I couldn't help but think of life as a game of Tag.  David wrote:
Lord my God, I go to you for safety.
Help me. Save me from all those who are chasing me.
(Psalm 7:1, NIRV)
David had a lot of enemies.  Remember when David encountered Saul in the cave?  If you don't, you can read it here: 1 Samuel 24.  I see David holding up that piece of Saul's robe as if to say, "I could have tagged you, but I chose not to." David wasn't always this victorious.  He had his share hard times, but David knew that only God could keep him safe. Just like when we play Tag, sometimes life has us running around a lot. It’s hard, and it makes us tired.  We want a safe place to rest. God was that safe place for David. David didn't take advantage of God's protection of him.  Even though God helped David, he still tried to do what God wanted him to do. In fact, in verse 5 David said that if he had done anything bad to his friends it would be ok for his enemies to chase and catch him.

David did not like when people did bad things. For all of David's flaws (and there were plenty), David was called "a man after God's own heart" (1 Samuel 13:14).  David desired for all people to do what was right in God's eyes, and he thought that people who tried to do wrong to others would be caught in their own tricks. I love this imagery of a person digging a hole and then falling into it: 
Whoever is full of evil
plans trouble and ends up telling lies. 
Whoever digs a hole and shovels it out
falls into the pit they have made.
The trouble they cause comes back on them.
The terrible things they do will happen to them.
(Psalm 7:14-16, NIRV).
Instead of making trouble, David wanted to be like God. The Bible tells us a lot of things about God: God is love, God is kind, and God is fair. We should also try to have these qualities as a way of showing our love to God. David finishes this psalm like this: 
I will give thanks to the Lord because he does what is right.
I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High. 
(Psalm 7:17, NIRV)
God always does what is right. Like David, we can put our hope in God and rest when we are near Him even if we are flawed.  Through Christ, we can be forgiven of our wrong doings and enter God's rest.

For more thoughts on hope, I encourage you to read this recent post: Psalm 5.

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