Set me free from all my sins,
do not make me the taunt of the fool.
I was silent, not opening my lips,
because this was all your doing.
Take away your scourge from me.
I am crushed by the blows of your hand.
You punish man's sins and correct him;
like the moth you devour all he treasures.
Mortal man is no more than a breath;
O Lord, hear my prayer.
O Lord, turn your ear to my cry.
Do not be deaf to my tears.
In your house I am a passing guest,
a pilgrim, like all my fathers.
Look away that I may breathe again
before I depart to be no more.
Glory to the Father...
My heart was pierced by these words in this morning's meditation. Words, sometime phrases, ring loud and I am struck; found guilty.
taunt: variant of tempter
Do not make of me the tempter of the fools: reaping what I sow; abuse on God and those near...
And what I am finding of late...? Unbelief, attempting to rest in the flesh, thinking it a stong-hold yet built in sand or rocky ground; putting 'faith' in worldly 'success' models as I would curse circumstances and let out a torrent flood of anger and bitter words thus energizing the enemy. Psalm 39 is a Psalm of David and it is a prayer for relief from persecutors as much as anything. Sometimes, the enemy is elusive and we are our own enemies. Of Psalm 39, Matthew Henry writes,
There is no solid satisfaction to be had in the creature; but it is to be found in the Lord, and in communion with him; to him we should be driven by our disappointments. If the world be nothing but vanity, may God deliver us from having or seeking our portion in it. When creature-confidences fail, it is our comfort that we have a God to go to, a God to trust in. We may see a good God doing all, and ordering all events concerning us; and a good man, for that reason, says nothing against it. He desires the pardoning of his sin, and the preventing of his shame. We must both watch and pray against sin. When under the correcting hand of the Lord, we must look to God himself for relief, not to any other. Our ways and our doings bring us into trouble, and we are beaten with a rod of our own making. What a poor thing is beauty! and what fools are those that are proud of it, when it will certainly, and may quickly, be consumed!I must remind myself that it is NOT 'the road to success' but the way-of-the-cross that leads to Christ, The Kingdom of God and self-substantiation. (Link here to a previous post.)
In a reflection on the Gospel of John Gil Bailie says:
"Christ replaces the world as a source of self-substantiation. The world used to be your source of self-substantiation and Jesus says that he is robbing it of its power to substantiate either itself or you. Slowly but surely it will loose its power to substantiate itself and to substantiate those who participate in it. If you want self-substantiation you have to go to the source and the only source of self-substantiation is God..."The more I try to justify myself within the framework of what this world maps as 'success' the more I heap burning hot coals upon my head - festering in resentment and anger. Oh Lord I pray, set me free from all my sins, do not make me the taunt of the fool.