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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - Aug. 9, 2008

  • 2008 Aug 09
  • COMMENTS
 

Escaping the Cave of Troubles

Psalm 57 brings us to another delightful cluster of psalms (56-60) known as the michtam psalms. What does michtam mean? It speaks of that which is substantial, or enduring, or fixed. Michtam literally means “engraven” or “permanent.” This word pictures that which is unmoveable, steadfast, stable and enduring. In Psalm 57:7 when David says, “My heart is fixed,” that is a michtam. Fixed is the Hebrew word kuwn  

Ezra 7:10 For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel

  • Psalm 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way. 
  • Psalm 40:2 He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps. 
  • Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. 
  • Psalm 112:7 He will not be afraid of evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. 
  • Psalm 119:133 Direct my steps by Your word, And let no iniquity have dominion over me. 
  • Proverbs 16:3 Commit your works to the Lord, And your thoughts will be established
  • Proverbs 16:9 A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.

Remember that these michtam psalms have to do with that which is permanent and enduring, that which is substantial and lasting. 

  • My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise [Ps. 57:7]. 

David is saying— 

  • I’m not going back to trying to rescue myself like I did in Gath (Psalm 34) and miserably failed.
  • I’m not going back to refusing to look at You and feeling abandoned (Psalm 13) and suffering through those long dark days.
  • I’m not going back to laying in the mud of my sin and despair (Psalm 40, 70) in the pits of life. 

No, my heart is fixed. I am holding on from now on to You

  1. When Troubles come—David pulls over and calls for help from the Lord. HIS HOPE IS IN THE LORD. (v. 1-3) In his earlier life we see David in great distress. David's problems in I Samuel 24 are the backdrop as he searches for strength in Psalm 57. He finds it in God Himself.  Remember, he is in a weak time in life. This is when depression often hits.  
  • Psalm 57:1-3 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, Until these calamities have passed by. 2 I will cry out to God Most High, To God who performs all things for me. 3 He shall send from heaven and save me; He reproaches the one who would swallow me up. God shall send forth His mercy and His truth. 
  1. Then David waits for the Tow Truck. HIS STRENGTH COMES FROM THE LORD. (v. 1-11) Note that David talks about God seven times, That is a complete set. He is saying that God is enough. God and God alone is enough. He knew, and trusted, and rested in—the God who is enough!  
  • Psalm 57:1-11  Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.   I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills his purpose for me.   He sends from heaven and saves me, rebuking those who hotly pursue me; Selah God sends his love and his faithfulness.   I am in the midst of lions; I lie among ravenous beasts -- men whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords.   Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.   They spread a net for my feet -- I was bowed down in distress. They dug a pit in my path -- but they have fallen into it themselves. Selah  My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music.  Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn.   I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples.   For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.  Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth. (NIV) 
  1. Sitting in the waiting room he grows. HIS DISCOVERIES ARE NOW ABOUT THE LORD. (v. 1, 5, 7, 11) For emphasis, note how David doubles three aspects of God's nature. This is what David  finds: God is Gracious, God is Steadfast, God is Praise Worthy. With this truth to hold onto, he testifies that it works. And he  gets his focus off  his troubles.  He went beyond his cave world and onto Lord!!  
  • Psalm 57:1  Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed. Psalm 57:5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.   And in v.7 My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music.  And in v. 11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth. (NIV)   
  1. Finally David drives off from the situation deeply blessed for the hard time. HIS FOCUS IS ON THE LORD. (v. 5, 11) Finally David gets God’s perspective that lifts him above the storm of Saul’s murderous pursuit, above the din of hundreds of needy and desperate men—and into the peaceful calm around the Throne of God! More than any self pity or gloom, he clings to the Lord. As a New Testament  writer Paul reminds us: 
  • Romans 5:1-5 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

 Practical Steps to Overcome Loneliness: 

  1. Deal with sin. Be sure that there is no unconfessed or unforsaken sin left in your life to give the Devil a place in your life. (Eph. 4:27)
  2. Share your burdens. Clearly tell the Lord all your fears, all your struggles, all your pains—remember that He knows our frame that we are dust. (Psalm 103)
  3. Abandon all self-pity. Constant self-sorrow is a one way ticket to loneliness. Self-pity denies we have a responsibility to deal with our emotions and thus frustrates any cure. As Jesus said, coming after Him means we deny our self (Luke 9:23).

 

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