Excerpts from Psalm 55 NIV
1 Listen to my prayer, O God, do not ignore my plea; 2 hear me and answer me. My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught,
17 Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice. 18 He rescues me unharmed from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me.
23 But you, God, will bring down the wicked into the pit of decay; the bloodthirsty and deceitful will not live out half their days. But as for me, I trust in you
This Psalm reads as if it must be the apex of David’s anguish. I hope the remaining four on my list are not as intense. My brain and my heart can’t handle it. This powerful and imperfect king has given me an appreciation of what the desire to trust God so completely really looks like. These Psalms are sort of like reading David’s personal diary of ugly stuff. Over and over no matter what, or whose, sin David was dealing with, his choice was to depend on God’s integrity not his own.
I can understand the need to write down his intense and troubling thoughts knowing no one else needed to know them. I can imagine him reading and editing them at length to distill them into as truthful a representation of his faith before God as he could. What is so much braver than I can imagine is his choice to write down the reality of his fears, flaws and failings to be sung from the mouths of others for heavens sake!
That’s enough to bring tears to my eyes as I type. After 40+ years of following Jesus I still have ugly stuff. I’ve not written it down for anyone to sing about but there are family and other people in my life who’ve seen what I couldn’t write and they surely could.
These Psalms have become a lesson for me. The power of God was revealed “for Heaven’s sake” in the imperfections of this king BECAUSE he knew exactly what to do with the ugly stuff!