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While in prayer today, the Holy Spirit directed me to Psalm 33. The Spirit whispered to my inner man that there were three nuggets of truth I should share with you in this portion of Scripture. They are as follows:
- “Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine” (Psalm 33:18-19). Notice the admonitions: “Fear him.” “Hope in his mercy.” The word “fear” here does not refer to a slavish, cowering fear. Rather, it speaks of the awesome awe of his great mercy to even the worst of sinners.
Last night I was brought to tears after counseling a Christian brother who had fallen into an old sin. He had consequently fallen into deep depression, insisting that God was punishing him, getting even for his transgression. I pleaded with him to hope in God’s mercy – that God was not mad at him, because the Lord in his everlasting mercy never turns away from any of his hurting, repentant children.
God is your keeper. He will keep you from spiritual death. He will keep you alive in times of spiritual famine – if you will fully believe and hope in his mercy.
- “Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield” (33:20). Verses 13-14 of this Psalm tell us, “The Lord looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men. From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth.”
As we walk with Jesus, there is not a moment in our lives when his eye strays from us. All things are open to his sight. The problem is, we do not really believe this. In times of deep affliction, we sometimes think he could not be focused on us and that there must be something missing in our theology. Otherwise, we reason, “Why have I hurt so badly for so long? Why is my cry not being heard?”
What do we do when we can’t see a way out – when we reach a dead end where there seems to be no answers – and we find ourselves at wit’s end? Verse 33 answers us: “Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield.” This may sound like unworkable theology, but it is not. In fact, this is the only way out of any and all troubling times: to wait in confidence that God’s eye is ever on us. He will come through in his time, which will prove to be the right time.
- “Our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee” (33:21-22).
Recently, I proved this passage true. I was called to settle a dispute that seemed humanly impossible to solve. I set my heart to wholly trust God to do the work – to give me words and to send the Holy Spirit to move the hearts of those involved. At first, it seemed like everything would fall apart. But I waited, trusting. When I left, the issues were still unsolved – but still I waited in faith. Later that night, I was called. Those at odds had fallen on their knees and repented, and a great miracle happened before the day ended. Faith works. And waiting with rejoicing works miracles.