January 16, 2018
Why, LORD, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak, who are caught in the schemes he devises. He boasts about the cravings of his heart; he blesses the greedy and reviles the LORD. In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God. His ways are always prosperous; your laws are rejected by him; he sneers at all his enemies. He says to himself, “Nothing will ever shake me.” He swears, “No one will ever do me harm.” His mouth is full of lies and threats; trouble and evil are under his tongue. He lies in wait near the villages; from ambush he murders the innocent. His eyes watch in secret for his victims; like a lion in cover he lies in wait. He lies in wait to catch the helpless; he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net. His victims are crushed, they collapse; they fall under his strength. He says to himself, “God will never notice; he covers his face and never sees.”
The psalms remind us that prayer is not religious talk; it is real conversation with God. Prayer is not robotic recitation; it is the pouring out of our raw feelings and emotions. God must laugh at our duplicity when He sees the chaos in our hearts and then hears the smooth prayer talk coming out of our mouths.
David’s communication with his Father is unfiltered. He tells God what the wicked are up to. They are arrogant, boasting about their depravity and rejecting God’s laws. They are liars and murderers. They lie in wait like a lion and pounce on the weak and innocent. They are convinced that God will never notice their actions. David protests that God’s actions seem to prove them right. He argues that God seems to be keeping His distance and hiding Himself from the trouble.
As believers we get frustrated with life, weighed down by our situations. We are moved by injustice. We wonder, “Why?” when the wicked seem to prevail and the arrogant get their way. David teaches us that prayer is telling God what’s on our hearts and minds. Honoring God means being honest with God.
Father, I admit that many times when my emotions are running deep my prayer is shallow. There seems to be in my soul a “prayer-switch” that I turn to disconnect what I say from what I feel as if You don’t know what I am really feeling. Help me to be real in my conversations with You. Remind me that honoring You means being honest. In Jesus’ name. Amen.