Let's look quickly at the first five verses (TM) of this excellent psalm.
- "LORD, I cry out to You; make haste to me!..." - Sometimes we have to reach a broken-type place in our experience to allow ourselves to cry out to God for help. There's something within that wants to remain in denial many times, and a cry this child-like isn't conducive to denial. In those times of denial, our control seems so fragile, so on -the-brink, that we dare not give voice to the request within us. But things are so much better for us when we do!
- "...Let my prayer be set before You as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice..." - This is so humble, and so down to earth. I like this aspect of prayer, this laying down of all my cards, and I'm grateful for the Lord's willingness to accept it. We can humbly ask for our prayer to somehow be more acceptable than it really is, and in the Lord's economy, that has an effect. I think that somehow it makes us more mindful of the attitude of our heart, and calls us back to the listening side of prayer as we form the request "Let my prayer..." It calls us to consider, like the Philippian jailer (TM) "...what must I do..."
- "...Set a guard..." - Maybe it starts to dawn on us that we are unable to do this stuff alone. Maybe we start to call on the Lord to do some things for us, stuff that He wants us to do. "Set a guard over my mouth" puts the onus onto the Lord, and done correctly, we trust Him to help us in our problem areas. Maybe we start to get a notion of what it means to abide, to be and stay attached to the Vine (TM).
- "...Let the righteous strike me..." - Now we're talking radical humility. It's one thing to be humbled before the Lord in private, but here the psalmist actually says that correction from other people will be welcome. And I think that "the righteous" here simply refers to those belonging to Jesus. It's His righteousness, not theirs, so the humility in this passage is the welcoming of correction from imperfect but forgiven humans. That's what is radical about this humility. It calls us to bite back on sharp retorts and "what about your problems?" and all those kinds of protective things we do to save face. I think I'll post about this more in the next day or so.
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