Friday, December 5, 2014

Helplessness: Internal Causes can Still be Taken to God

It is a truth universally acknowledged that one will find himself within his life in a position of sheer helplessness. No one can really doubt intellectually whether they will be in that spot. Of course practically, we tend to doubt that fact all the time as we try our hardest to ensure that we do everything ourselves. We know we could just rely upon God, but we don't tend to do so.

But today we will discuss not the fact that we should do this, but that we still can when the state of sheer helplessness we find ourselves in is purely our own fault. That is the situation that the Psalmist David finds himself in in Psalm 69. 

Little is known about the sin David refers to in this chapter, but I'm sure speculation abounds. I personally don't much enjoy speculation on things peripheral to the text such as this, so I will refrain from saying that the most logical assumption is that David is admitting his own helplessness due to a general sinful nature, rather than one particular sin. 

The point is, David was in a kind of helpless situation due to both external and internal circumstances, yet his response could have been and indeed was to bring it to God. For instance, in verses 5-16, we read, 
"O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee. Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord God of hosts, be ashamed for my sake: let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel. Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face. I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children. For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me. When I wept, and chastened my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach. I made sackcloth also my garment; and I became a proverb to them. They that sit in the gate speak against me; and I was the song of the drunkards. But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O Lord, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation. Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters. Let not the waterflood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me. Hear me, O Lord; for thy lovingkindness is good: turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies."

Accepting that he was filthy, he seemed to be first concerned with ensuring only he was affected by it. "Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord God of hosts, be ashamed for my sake." He didn't want to see others suffer because of his sin.

However, the main thrust of what I see here is that he asked the Lord to look down upon him according to the Lord's lovingkindness and mercy. He asked the Lord to help him with the external and internal causes of his helplessness. And you know what? I find it encouraging to know that our internal causes of helplessness and our sin do not have to keep us from relying upon God as long as we confess it.

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