Saturday, April 04, 2020

Keeping Your Wits When Others Are Insane- Day 13


O Lord, my heart is not lifted up;
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.

But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forevermore.

The power of this simple little Psalm has hit me right between the eyes for years. I always seem to stumble upon it at just the right time....providentially.

As we climb, our egos grow.

Two hard circumstances to handle in life is long term defeat AND long term success. Remember that losers lean we had at the beginning of the journey- cast out, beat down, and discouraged depression?

Then we start to make our way out and up and before you know it we are loud and proud.

Rudyard Kipling wrote a poem celebrating Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897. It captures so much of this as he observes all of the revelry.

He prophetically titled the poem: Recessional

G0D of our fathers, known of old,
Lord of our far-flung battle-line,
Beneath whose awful Hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine
Lord God of Hosts be with us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

The tumult and the shouting dies;
The Captains and the Kings depart:
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

Far-called, our navies melt away;
On dune and headland sinks the fire:
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe,
Such boastings as the Gentiles use,
Or lesser breeds without the Law
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

For heathen heart that puts her trust
In reeking tube and iron shard,  
All valiant dust that builds on dust,
And guarding, calls not Thee to guard,
For frantic boast and foolish word
Thy mercy on Thy People, Lord!

Kipling knew the human heart! Here was Great Britain whose kingdom spread from 'palm to pine', making a reference to a famous quip during that day- "The sun never sets on the British empire"- a reference to the wide expanse of lands and people under her dominion.

Kipling also knew the danger- POWER/VICTORY unleashes 'wild tongues, drunk with power'.

And the only hope fo remedy or antidote? Never forget God, the source of our protection and provision.

The ancient sacrifice: An humble and contrite heart.

I see Psalm 131 as a break in the action. The people look down and say WOW- look at what we have done! Look how far we have climbed!

And a wise man in the crowd says.... "Be still and bow before the King. Recognize Him and humble yourself in His sight. It is what HE HAS DONE!"

And we also know the formula:

Humble ourselves and God will lift us up.
Don't humble ourselves and He will take us down.

Psalms 25:9 He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.

1 Peter 5:5 Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble".

Mark 1:7 (John the Baptist) And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.

Psalms 18:27 For you save a humble people, but the haughty eyes you bring down.

Psalms 149: 4 For the LORD takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation.

Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.

Deuteronomy 8:2-3 And you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.

2 Chronicles 7:14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

James 4:10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

I Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

The biggest problem is that we KNOW this- but will FAIL this over and over. When our pride gets the stuffin' knocked out, it is OK to humbly come back to Him. And he does not break a bruised reed.

Here are a few 'tips' to help keep us out of the cycle of 'Puffed UP and POPPED'

  • ACKNOWLEDGE GOD IN ALL YOUR SUCCESS- Not in a flippant way, He is NOT an expedient. He refuses to be one.
  • DON'T BOAST- Be confident without bragging. The wild tongue must be bridled by sober words.
I Corinthians 1:31 Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."
Proverbs 27:1 'Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.'

  • SCRIPTURE, PRAYER, WORSHIP: Practice the disciplines of the Christian life.
  • SERVE: Go and do things for others, say thank-you, give a cup of water in Jesus' name 

FINALLY- It is a beautiful picture in this Psalm... a little child resting in his mother's arms. When we are humble, we are at peace. Fully satisfied in our God.  He is all I need!

No comments: