Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
When we are afraid, what do we do? We cry out to God for help. Psalm 70 asks God to hurry up and help!
I know I have been in the position of such fear many times in my life. Yes, fear. It isn't always a lack of faith. It is a perfectly normal and valid response to times of trial. There's no need to deny it.
What makes the fear turn into a sinful lack of faith? It's when our fear is accompanied by a commitment to the idea that we are the ones who have to work out our salvation. It's when we put our trust into something or someone other than the Lord.
What trial was facing the Psalmist? We don't really know. But it was serious. There were some sort of enemies involved. There were probably offenses, and they were real issues.
Yet I want to be clear. The outcry in Psalm 70 is not rooted in sinful fear. It is rooted in faith that God is the savior, God is the one who can rescue us from enemies, and a realization that we need to be rescued.
Preferably right not. Or maybe even sooner.
The fact that the Psalm could be written down tells us something, doesn't it? We don't usually write a piece of poetry reflecting on our need for God's rescue during the actual time of trial. We write it later, after some of the trial has passed. Having this Psalm written is an indicator that the situation did pass. God did rescue his servant.
When I am afraid, then, I will commit to trust in God. I will call out to him, not curse him. I will try my hardest to escape the danger, but I will be asking the Lord to rescue me, knowing that I probably can't outrun all the dangers I face.
God, the strong deliverer of his people, is there to rescue them. We who trust in Christ can call upon him. He is ready to help in our time of trouble.
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