Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn.
~Psalm 57:8, NIV
The elements of prayer, praise, thanksgiving and the desire for God to be exalted will awaken any sleeping soul.
~Warren B. Wiersbe
Psalm 57 finds David in the cave of Adullam [I Samuel 22]. David fled to the cave from Gath. David is tired, weary, restless and he is looking for a safe place where he can relax. I don’t suppose any of us envy David’s circumstances but it is far better to be in a cave with a future than to be in a palace with no future and Saul had no future. Sometimes we envy the soft and seemingly secure environment of the rich and famous but it is better to live in a cave in the will of God than to live in a palace out of His will. Short term, Saul’s circumstances look better but in the long term, I will take David and the cave. Do you know the main difference between David and his sons? They were raised in a palace and never knew the difficulty that goes with living in a cave. If you take the caves out of David’s life, you have another Solomon or Rehoboam–a spoiled rich kid that does not know how to relate to common people.
David confesses in verse 6, My enemies have set a trap for me. I am weary from distress. How many of these beloved Psalms were composed while David was in distress? What does David do under distress? Well, first of all he prays, “Have mercy on me O God” and then he cries out to God for protection and intervention. David said to the LORD, “I will hide beneath the shadow of Your wings.” Can a mere shadow protect us? Does the shadow cast by a large tree protect us from the scorching heat of the sun? The word ‘shadow’ here is ‘umbra’ in the Latin Vulgate. I’m sure you recognize this root word for umbrella. He refers to any type of protecting covering above us. It can be a cloud, a tree, a roof and most certainly a cave.
The ancient world was one of darkness and dawn was the alarm clock. People slept during the darkness but light was so treasured that most people awoke with the dawn, they didn’t want to waste the light. In our culture, we can work night and day because we have artificial light but for the ancients, when night came, no work could be done. Rather than have dawn awake David, he said, “I will wake up the dawn with my song.” I would say this is a great attitude for a man in distress. Matter of fact, David attitude is reflected in his will:  I will sing,  I will praise and  I will thank the LORD. You could stop and sing right now. You may not choose to but it is in the power of the will to do so if you desire. We do not have to have ideal circumstances to sing or to praise. After losing everything but his life, Job said, “The LORD gives and now He has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” How could he praise the LORD under such difficult circumstances? He willed it! The devil and all his angels could not prevent it. I can assure you, the devil didn’t want Job praising God.
When we combine prayer, praise, thanksgiving and the desire for God to be glorified, it revives the soul in spite of the distressful circumstances. Twice David repeats the refrain: Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens. May your glory shine over all the earth. We all struggle: no one has it all together but you can measure your spiritual progress by the depth of your desire to see God glorified. When we get to the point that His glory is paramount, even more important than our peace and sense of security, we will begin to experience a peace that we cannot understand nor explain. If my utmost desire is to see Jesus Christ exalted, what difference does it make if I succeed or not.
When I came out of Seminary, I felt this huge pressure to succeed but while on a trip in the 90’s I had some time to myself and thankfully God revealed the truth to me...”Jack, My kingdom is going to come and My will is going to be done with or without your help. My kingdom does not depend on your success so relax and celebrate what I am doing in this world.” I have been celebrating ever since. His kingdom is coming, His will is going to be done and His Son is going to be glorified. It is HIS KINGDOM and He has the POWER to make it happen and He should get all the GLORY. When you can say Amen to what I just said and mean it, you will have made a huge step toward peace in the midst of a storm.
- Good service last night. Great to see Jessica Hogan back from two months at Glorietta, New Mexico. Sorry about the poor quality of my pic, I have a cheap phone. You get what you pay for and this thing is Wally-World-Worthless crap. It never fails to disappoint.
- BLOCK PARTY August 5, 6:00-9:00. We are shopping for the GRAND PRIZE which our men’s class is going to sponsor and I personally intend to get some prizes for the workers. These will be given out at the 4:30 workers meeting. Anyone is eligible except me personally. I’m not excluding my wife or children.
- It is great to have good neighbors and friends and we are blessed to have Larry Garner as a friend. June told me yesterday to forget gardening. She said, “We don’t need a garden when Larry as a friend.” The man has raised some incredible tomatoes. June has canned 50 quarts of Salsa.
- BLOCK PARTY T-Shirts can be ordered. Call Mandy or Jamie, anytime day or night, [just kidding]. I think you will like them. Just 16 more days until the BP and then time will really fly.
- Seth is scheduled to be home this weekend. Right now our plans are to pick him up on Monday but you know the Marines. It is hard to make plans when they are involved.