Read the Bible in 2011 ◊ Week 5: Wednesday
“Because of the devastation of the afflicted,
because of the groaning of the needy,
Now I will arise,” says the LORD;
“I will set him in the safety for which he longs.”
Today’s Bible reading is Psalms 12–14. All three are psalms written by David from deep pain. He did not speak of the devastation of the afflicted merely for poetic drama nor did he cry out to God in Psalm 13 from only a slight hurt. When he asked God if He would forget him forever and when he asked God how long his enemy would triumph over him, it was because he suffered and he felt forgotten. When David spoke in Psalm 14 of the Lord being the refuge of the afflicted, it was because David was afflicted and he needed a refuge. I think some Psalms were written after lengthy times of grief and suffering. Psalm 6 was not written after one night of crying, but after many nights. These psalms for today’s Bible reading bear the mark of one who has suffered long and feels worn to the bone in a war of attrition.
“How long, O LORD?” Tonight these psalms reflect how I feel. I am stunned sometimes at the psalms that God included in His Word. Psalm 13 is one of them. There are times when we feel as David felt and as we look around we find no one to comfort or we find only those who will judge or attack. Those are the times when we desperately need David’s words—to be able to open our Bible and see that the man who was called a man after God’s own heart knew the exhaustion and affliction and loneliness that we feel—to be able to open our Bible and find that God included words that express the horrors that our own heart knows. In the midst of bearing up under the inscrutability of suffering, God gives us words and in David we find a voice for our pain.
I can only cry out to God and let David’s words be my words. I can only ask God to help me to trust in His lovingkindness.
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Original content: Copyright ©2011 Iwana Carpenter
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