“O Lord, be my helper”

 

[Psalms 30]

 

As I watched my church elder suffering from his back injury, I was able to sympathize with him and his pain a little because I hurt my back badly before.  I thought of this when I looked at the elder who hurt his back so bad that he couldn’t even wear the socks without someone's help:‘It seems that we humans need our parents’ help when we are born, and later we are old can can't move our body freely, we need others’ help again.’  After all, we need help from others.  But what should we do if no one can help us?

 

In Psalms 22:11, the psalmist David says: “Be not far from me, for trouble is near; For there is none to help.”  In trouble, David trusted in the Lord, confessing that no one could help him.  Like David, we must trust in the Lord when no one helps us.  We must cry out to the Lord.  Even if we feel that our prayers aren’t being answered by God, we should keep on crying out to God without giving up (vv. 1-2).  And we must look back and reflect on God's saving grace (vv. 4-5).  Finally, we must cast all our cares upon the Lord (vv. 9-10).

 

The Bible Psalms 30:10 says, “…  O LORD, be my helper.”  The psalmist David admits that there is only the Lord can help him, so he is asking the Lord for help.  I would like to receive His grace by meditating on 5 things about how the Lord, who is our helper, helps us.

 

First, the Lord who is our helper lifts us up.

 

                Look at Psalms 30:1 – “I will extol You, O LORD, for You have lifted me up, And have not let my enemies rejoice over me.”  David was determined to exalt the Lord.  How did he determined to exalt the Lord?  It was by praising the Lord, serving Him, and loving Him with everything (Park).  Then why did David determine to exalt the Lord like this?  It was because the Lord brought David up from his adversary (v. 3).  Here the word “brought up” in Arabic is “dalah” and is used for drawing up water from a well (Internet).  This word refers to the act of God's salvation that lifts and saves the life from a place to die, as if drawing up water from the well (Park).  I think the Lord saves us when we fall into the deep water and thus we feel very helpless because we can’t do anything to save ourselves.  It’s like when Peter saw the wind, became frightened, began to sink and cried out, “Lord, save me!”, the Lord Jesus immediately stretch out His hand and took hold of him and saved him (Mt. 14:30-31).  Then, where did God lift David up and deliver him?  God lifted him up and brought him up from Sheol (Ps. 30:3).  God didn’t let David go down to the pit (v. 3).  In a situation almost near death, that is, in an extreme situation that seemed to be buried by death, God delivered David (Park).  So, the Lord had not let David’s enemies to rejoice over him (v. 1).  Satan and his children oppose us and want to make us to sin no matter how  so that we may enjoy sinning against Him.  But David was confident with his experience.  It was none other than that the Lord delivered David out of the hand of his adversary, preventing his enemies from having anything to rejoice.  This fact is a great comfort to us.  Our God, who makes our enemies not to rejoice, is our deliverer.  Our God is the God who, when we fall into the place of death, draws us out of that place as if we were to draw water out of it.  Those of us who experience the grace of God's salvation must exalt God like David.  We must praise the Lord, serve Him and love Him with everything.  It is said that St. Cardarine lived to exalt the Lord by obeying as if he had no will in front of the Lord (Park).  Like St. Cardarine, we must live a life that exalts the Lord through the grace of the Lord's salvation.

 

Second, the Lord who is our helper heals us.

 

                Look at Psalms 30:2 – “O LORD my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me.”  David was crying for help from God when he was being persecuted from his enemies.  Then the Lord answered his prayer and healed him.  Here, the word “healed” means that there was a temporary failure, but it was restored by God's help (Park).  If so, what is this “temporary failure” that David committed?  It was pride to say to himself, “… in my prosperity, ‘I will never b moved’” (vv. 6-7).  Eventually, because of this sin, the Lord concealed His face from David, which caused David to be dismayed (v. 7).  How precious is this dismay?  This dismay isn’t worldly but a godly that leads to repentance.  In this dismay, David cried out to the Lord (vv. 2, 8).  His prayer was, “Hear, O LORD, and be gracious to me; O LORD, be my helper” (v. 10).  Here, the prayer title of ‘Be gracious to me’ is the prayer topic that we who have sinned should seek from God.  As a result of that prayer, David was restored with the help of God's grace.  We are like David failed God so many times.  When we think about what to do, we must like David first seek for God's grace.  We should use our failure as an opportunity to seek God.  And in the midst of that, we should take our failures as the opportunity to experience God's grace.  And with His grace, our relationship with God must be restored.  But what we need to keep in mind is that there is no real reconciliation without real repentance.  By truly repenting our sins  to God, we must experience the love of God's reconciliation.  We must experience the love of God's reconciliation through repentance by His discipline in His holy love.

 

Third, the Lord who is our helper gives us joy.

 

                Look at Psalms 30:5 – “For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.”  The truth that David realized after being helped (saved) and healed by God's help was that there are actually more joyful things than sad things.  In other words, there was more amount of joy that David enjoyed being saved than the amount of suffering in his difficult place (Park).  What do you think?  Do you think there are more joyful things than sad things?  But our human nature remembers sad things better than joyful things.  It’s like not remembering the smell of a rose, but remembering that we were stabbed in its thorn for a long time (Park).  However, because God's anger is but for a moment, the pain that comes from God's anger is for the moment and His grace is for a lifetime (v. 5).  Therefore, even though there is weeping that last for the night due to the sufferings by God's anger, there is a shout of joy in the morning by His grace.

 

                As I was reading J. I. Packers’ “God’s Plan for you” last Monday, the heart that God gave me was “… I will rejoice and will rejoice” (Phil. 1:18).  No matter what the circumstances I may be in, the Holy Spirit has made me to resolve by making me to speak to my own soul: 'I should be glad and rejoice!'  We have to experience momentary tears and sorrows because of pains.  But these tears and sorrows make us taste more joy.  Dr. Yoon-sun Park said, ‘… It is a fact that when we humbly receive suffering from God’s anger, the suffering itself changes its taste and becomes a blessing to us’ (Park).  The taste of pain from God’s anger may be bitter like a Chinese medicine in our lips when we taste it, but it is great help to our soul.  Eventually, like David, we want to confess, “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness” (Ps. 30:11).

 

Fourth, the Lord who is our helper makes us not to be moved.

 

                Look at Psalms 30:6-7: “Now as for me, I said in my prosperity, ‘I will never be moved.’  O LORD, by Your favor You have made my mountain to stand strong; You hid Your face, I was dismayed.”  God answered the David's prayer and helped him in strengthening his kingdom.  This is the meaning of the word “You have made my mountain to stand strong” (Park).  Just as God has strengthened the David’s kingdom, our Lord strengthens us individually, our homes, and the church that He bought with His blood, so that it will never be moved.  But it is self-conceit and pride that we must guard ourselves against.  Although God established the David's kingdom to be strong, David was proud and said, "I will never be moved" (v. 6, Park).  Eventually, God was angry with David, who became proud, and David was troubled in his repentance.  It isn’t easy for a person to repent when he is under God's discipline (Park).  But David repented at a such time (see 51:4).  What we must keep in mind is “O Lord, by Your favor” (30:7).  In other words, it isn’t because we are humble, good, and so on that the Lord makes us strong and make us not to be moved, but because of His grace.  We must not forget this.

 

Fifth and last, the Lord who is our helper makes us to praise Him.

 

                Look at Psalms 30:12 – “That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever.”  In the end, the God who helps us makes us to praise the Lord.  The God of salvation, who draws us out of our trouble, heals (restores) us, gives us joy, and also strengthens us so that we will not be moved under any circumstances.  And we, who are blessed by the Lord, must praise him.  So David declares in verse 4: “Sing praise to the LORD, you His godly ones, And give thanks to His holy name.”  David couldn't stay silent while thinking of God's grace.  He cried out to God in his trouble, and because he received his prayer answered, he was overjoyed and vowed to praise God forever.  David, who said before God how the dead could praise Him and declare His faithfulness (v. 9), was finally saved by God's grace, from his enemy, from sorrow, from His anger, and His favor for the lifetime (v. 5).  Therefore, he vowed to praise God forever.  We must not forget God's grace for us.  Therefore, we must praise God.  We who receive His help, as those who enjoy His grace, should thank the Lord and glorify Him with praise.

 

When we look at the cross, the surprising thing is that God who is our helper, heard His Son Jesus’ prayer on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” but didn’t help Jesus (Mt. 27:46).  Heavenly Father didnt help His Son Jesus even though He saw Jesus, His begotten Son, descending into the gates of Hades. Why did Heavenly Father do that?  The reason was to save us who were headed for eternal death, in order to restore our relationship with God, Heavenly Father left Jesus to die on the cross.  He didn’t help His Son Jesus on the cross in order to give us His divine joy and to strengthen us.  After all, God makes us to praise Him.  Therefore, we must live a life that exalts the Lord who is our helper.

 

 

 

Praising the Lord who is my helper,

 

 

James Kim

(After the Lord’s help)