“Be pleased, O God, to deliver me,
O Lord, make haste to help me!”
~Psalm 70:1 (NRSV).
Think of a desperate circumstance. Perhaps it’s a time when you felt bullied, rushed or excluded. Feelings of loneliness came with the feelings of lowliness.
Sure, we’ve all been there; a time when confusion and loss swelled and our inner world took up the entire space of vision. Perhaps this might describe your living moment right now, or one recently experienced.
Pray. In the kin of this psalm, pray.
Against the Foe, Lord!
Lambasting language dominates this psalm. The foe is in sight and the Lord is beseeched for the help only God can provide. Deliverance from the situation is sought, such that the psalmist can again say—because of it—“God is great!” (Verse 4d) We can know that God is great, but here we need God to be ‘great’ in our circumstance.
For us personally, we never live in a vacuum. We always contend with people, and some we don’t get along with. And for some people that we endure—and they of us—there is low trust. We expect ill of them and them of us. Damage has occurred to the relationship and it’s gone beyond the sublime.
We’re always best to pray when we have divisive feelings about others. Somehow prayer gets us thinking about what we can do to help things; how we can help ourselves—as well as how God is sought, and our thoughts centre on the Spirit who helps.
Instant Healing Sought
This psalm is a prayer for deliverance, now!
The last line of the psalm says it—“O Lord, do not delay!”—and we’re forgiven for shouting our prayers in such desperation. The great thing about the psalms is they usher realness to life and they excuse what we falsely polarise as ‘weak us’.
We all have weak times, and times when life is atrocious. These are times when we not only want, but we need, healing... now... yesterday!
And as we do our portion of the searching work required, led by the Spirit, we will find the answers to our temporal angst. The ministry of the Spirit enfolds over us. For those in longer seasons of pain, there is relief enough to endure, and some comfort that there is some sort of purpose in it; to be revealed later.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.