Monday, 13 July 2020

Title: In a time when you may be found
By: Ps Cheng Cheung

Psalm 32: 6 – 9

Last week we looked at verses 1-5 of this Psalm where David describes the man who is truly blessed. We found that there was no deceit in the spirit of this man. With true repentance and confession, God’s forgiveness, of course, followed suit. How truly blessed is such a man!

Verse 6a reads ”For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You
In a time when You may be found;
Yes, let us all pray, for if blessedness shall follow a prayer of sincere confession, we should not hesitate.

But see, there is more, for ”. . in a flood of great waters
They shall not come near him.
You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; . . shall surround me with songs of deliverance.”
This means the man who prays and confesses his sin to God is blessed, not only because of what God does not do, that is,
He does not hold his transgression against him,
He does not withhold covering for his sin, and
He does not impute iniquity in the man’s record book to him;
indeed, the man is blessed by what God does do – He preserves him from trouble and surrounds him with songs of deliverance.

What a Saviour! Our God is not only not against him, He is in fact mightily for this man who prayed and confessed his sins to God. Blessings follow true humility, acknowledgement of sin and a repentant heart.

And to top it off, God not only promises preservation from trouble and protection but in verse 8 He says He will instruct and guide the man the way he should go. Just in case the man might be tempted to think this would likely be some general, fuzzy or vague type instruction, God says clearly ”I will guide you with My eye”. Our God is a personal God, a specific God, with specific plans for each of us. Would that we were patient enough to pray and wait upon Him to reveal His perfect will for us.

Before we think this Psalm gives us only ‘good news’, think again. There are hints in the Psalm that God knows the shortcomings of our human nature. We need some stark warnings that we cannot take Him for granted. Verse 6b reads “. . In a time when You may be found.” Whoa! What does that imply? And even more pointedly, what do we make of verse 9 where, immediately after promising specific guidance there is a warning not to behave like some farm animals which have no understanding. And worse still, such animals need to be harnessed with bit and bridle. The imagery is very vivid.

”The counsel in the verse is that men should render a willing obedience to God and not be like the animals that man has to bridle and curb in order to get them to do his will.” [Bible dictionary]

Strong words.

Is it not bad enough that some (who belong to the Lord) are said to have no understanding? But, in addition, the Lord needs to resort to these devices to discipline obstinate ones to fall in line in order to teach them His ways. Tell me, what do you think would be the area in your life where the bit and bridle needs to come out? Only you know, for likely it is an area where you are behaving like a horse or a mule. I can think of one, and would not want the Almighty to deal with me in that manner.

Therefore, do not be a horse or a mule which has no understanding, but instead let us who wish to experience forgiveness, protection and direction come to God in prayer at a time when He may be found.

Prayer for Today

Ah, Lord God, I praise you for you are gracious and forgiving. Your tender mercies are great toward me despite my many shortcomings and sin.

Thank you for your patience. Each time I come before you and pray and confess and commit to your transforming work in my life, you accept me. You have multiplied, O LORD my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward me. None can compare with you!

Indeed, you are worthy of all my praise. In Jesus’ Name.

Amen.