psalm13

Psalm 13

The object of Trust

RSV verse 5 “I have trusted in thy steadfast love”

Steadfastlove is a good term to describe ‘mercy’ of which it is has been said “when we do not get what we do deserve”.

Standing before a Holy God our sinful selfish ways deserve only condemnation “but God commendeth (a word that we might know better as shows or demonstrates) His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us”

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You will perhaps agree there are many things in life in which we all place at least a degree of trust, for example – we trust our wives/husbands, family members, close friends. Yet sadly sometimes, even these relationships can fall short of our expectations and David makes reference to that in Psalm 41 v 9 “even my best friend, the one I trusted completely, the one who shared my food, has turned against me”

It has been said in past generations and in our generation today, if there is a God and he is a God of love how can he allow the evil and other many tragedies which touch the lives of people?.

I think it is Oswald Chambers who said that when you want to know how much God loves mankind, don’t look at the tragedies and atrocities of life, look at Jesus giving His life on the cross and that is the message of John 3 v16.

In an uncertain world we need something that remains steadfast. The line from a song says “I’ll gladly place my trust in things I cannot see, my faith still holds onto the Christ of Calvary”

God loves us with an everlasting love and what better object of trust can we find than a steadfast love as David found, in God’s mercy.

The cause of rejoicing

Also verse 5 “my heart shall rejoice…”

rejoice01I am sure each of us can call to mind an experience in life which has brought us cause for rejoicing – for example, my wife and I have been married for 36 years and you can tell how she still rejoices in that event!!!

In this verse David is speaking of an inner rejoicing, he calls it a heart experience – salvation. David uses the word ‘thy’ to describe it not ‘my’. I take this to mean that David’s cause of rejoicing is a salvation bestowed upon him by the Lord – he did not earn it, work for it, or buy it.

It is not any different for us in 2014 – salvation is still a ‘thy’ experience, it is of the Lord before it is a ‘my’ experience.

This experience is not based upon our good living or church attendance, because while our lives may show commendable aspects, God’s word reminds us that “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags”

Salvation is not earned or maintained by our perfection, but by our trust in Christ’s perfection. Salvation is God’s free gift with added value at no extra cost – it has VAT in the middle.

If this is not your experience, it can be. If you realise you are a sinner, repent and receive Christ – believe and accept Him by faith and then seek to live for Him.

I wonder if there is anyone reading this article and either you or someone you know has lost the closeness of God’s fellowship, the joy of salvation is dimmed, some situation, perhaps discouragement or disappointment has affected you. I have good news for you, the father is looking for you, waiting for you to return, he wants to restore the joy of your salvation – David also knew this experience.

The theme of the song

verse 6 “I will sing to the Lord”

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David says “the Lord … has dealt bountifully with me” – that speaks to me about satisfaction.  I would have to admit, too often I fail to realise how bountiful the Lord is. Most of us may think of the Lord’s bounty in material and physical provision. I feel David is going beyond the material and physical aspects of life – in verse 1-4 of the Psalm his words were telling us – 

He felt alone and God seemed to have hidden his face (verse 1)

His daily experience was sorrow and the enemy seemed to have the upper hand (verse 2)

He was lacking joy“lighten mine eyes” (verse 3)

He was feeling unstable “my foes rejoice because I am shaken” (verse 4)

Is there anyone reading this who like me, can identify with one or all of these experiences?

However in the blackness of those experiences David has found his song and he is proving the Lord. Our individual experience of life will differ. Some, perhaps not all, know the struggle of sickness or pain; some more than others can share the loneliness and emptiness David expresses.

All of these experiences find their answer in verses 5&6 of the Psalm, God does not forget when we tell Him honestly how we feel, with perhaps anxiety, loneliness, it is in those times we have an object of trust – steadfast love

The enemy of souls may seem to heap sorrows upon us and while we can lose the joy of our salvation, there is a cause of rejoicing, salvation is of the Lord and to lose joy as David found is not to lose salvation.

If we know the Lord’s salvation then the theme of our song is a reminder that whatever else we may face in life He remains faithful.

Brian Bell