I hold fast to your statutes, Lord; do not let me be put to shame…Take away the disgrace I dread, for your laws are good.
~Psalm 119:31,39, NIV
I sometimes think that shame, mere awkward, senseless shame, does as much toward preventing good acts and straightforward happiness as any of our vices.
~Clyde Staples Lewis
We do not know who wrote Psalm 119: we know it is the longest of all the Psalms, an acrostic of the Hebrew alphabet and that it contains a myriad of synonyms for the bible such as the law, precepts, statutes, instructions, commandments, decrees, word, etc. but we do not know who wrote the Psalm. Old school attributes it to David although there is no inscription linking it to David. Modern scholars think it was post-exilic and written by Ezra or Nehemiah. It does sound a lot like Ezra who studied God’s word daily and I’m not talking about a quick bible study, I am talking hours.
The thing that jumped out at me this time was in the first stanza…Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees! Then I would not be put to shame.You find this phrase, “Put to shame,” in a lot of David’s Psalms. David expresses this very sentiment in Psalm 25, I trust in you; do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. It is found repeatedly in Psalm 119. Nehemiah was very committed but rough around the edges: he would hit you in the face or pull out a hand full of your beard. Of the three, I would think Ezra to be the most straight laced but the truth is: it could have been any of the three.
Keller must be psychologist and a writer: this is what he says and I think he is right. “Christians know that the old self struggles constantly with a sense of disgrace to the point that it puts a dread in the heart. We feel this sickening, vague dread of being exposed, found out as an impostor, a failure.” Does this mean that we are hypocrites? If you feel hypocritical you are not a hypocrite. Hypocrites never think of themselves as being hypocrites. We know the LORD knows our sin and shame and He is able to forgive due to His great mercy and compassion but like David, we fear the judgment of men.
Some little lady from Blount County got in front of me going through Hartselle yesterday morning as we were on our way to REVIVAL. I rode her bumper: its not tailgating with the person in front of you is doing 40 MPH. June started fussing: “If I were her, I would pull to the side and let you have the road.” I said, “That’s the general idea but she aint getting it.” I did no fuss or fume but when I got the chance I passed her like she was sitting still. June apologized to her or tried to as I passed: she said, “Sorry lady, he is an idiot.” Don’t worry about her reading this, she only reads the EXTRA. Point: the above is a sin I will confess but there are some I will not. Can the LORD bring them into the light? You better believe it and if it glorifies Him to do so, so be it but I would not be able to look forward to the moment.
Well we had the two largest crowds we have had at GRACE POINT in my short time there. I think they said 119 for the am service and we had more last night. Tim hit it out of the park: perfect message for Revival. Doug did Lazarus and he and Dale did a duet which was out of this world. We will see about tonight: we had a lot of our people that did not come back last night and that concerned me deeply. Personally it was a good day for me even though I was hoarse and couldn’t sing.