Sunday Devotional 9th of July 2023
by Bruce Billington
We are continuing to explore the knowledge of God as expressed in the Psalms. This week we look pick some verses from Psalm 56 and 65 – both Psalms of David’s where he faces despair and anguish.
Psalm 56:8 – “You have taken account of my wanderings; Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book?”
Psalm 65:2 – “O You who hear prayer, To You all men come.”
In the ancient world, people sometimes saved their tears in small bottles as a remembrance of the sorrow. It was often all they could in times of grief and despair and was a token attempt to make the time precious and an expression of remembrance. David picks up on this custom but notes that the sons and daughters of God are offered far more when He takes hold of such times in our lives.
It is easy to be confused when we have been in a deep situation of trouble or experienced something that caused a major period of grief. But we can take great comfort in the fact that our Father observes everything we go through with a tender and generous regard. Our trials and tribulations are precious in His sight, and He holds them before Him, as keeping tears in a bottle. He does this not only in empathy for us, but also to cause all things to work together for good in our lives.
Although some things are the result of poor decisions or actions we may have made, many of our hardships are the result of trouble finding us, as was true with Job. He was the most upright man on earth, yet he suffered soul-crushing losses, losses he did nothing to cause. Many of these situations will produce painful hardships that leave us feeling helpless and hopeless. We may experience a wide range of emotions from anguish and anxiety to depression and much fear.
But God sees our pain and keeps a record of our sorrows. He not only knows when we are in trouble, but, as revealed through Christ, He actually suffers with us. He is not just as one who sympathises – He is one who will come to our rescue. He turns our sackcloth of mourning into garments of praise (Isaiah 61:3).
Psalm 65:2 names God as “You who hear prayer.” What a delightful title for our God and Father! Every right and sincere prayer is not only offered but clearly heard and taken on board in His care for us.
This should encourage us all to come before the one and only God, who answering all those who seek His face. The POSB expresses this wonderfully by saying,
To come to God is the life of true religion; we come weeping in conversion, hoping in supplication, rejoicing in praise, and delighting in service. False gods must in due time lose their deluded votaries, for man when enlightened will not be longer be fooled; but each one who tries the true God is encouraged by his own success to persuade others also, and so the kingdom of God comes to men, and men come to it.
David comments further in Psalm 65 by saying,
Psalm 65:4-5 – “How blessed is the one whom You choose and bring near to You. To dwell in Your courts. We will be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, Your holy temple. 5 By awesome deeds You answer us in righteousness, O God of our salvation, You who are the trust of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest sea.”
Amen and Amen.
God bless you.