“O Lord my Savior”

 

[Psalms 38:12-22]

 

What do you think is living the best life?  One pastor said in his book: ‘Living the best life is to realize what your mission is and live a life that meets that mission’ (Internet).  Then he said:

 

‘Young people are often self-centered.  When they realize themselves, they seem to realize

the world.  But when they give up themselves, they think that the world is over.  But the

world is flowing along God's great stream of salvation.  We cut in in that process secretly.

Therefore, after we have done our part to fulfill God’s given mission to us, we should

disappear quietly.  Even so, God's salvation history remains unchanged.  It keeps flowing.  

However, there are those who can't disappear or die quietly.  ‘I have to do all this... .’  If

someone says this, I will immediately say, ‘You can relax and die.’  It is because God even

works through others’ (Internet).

 

It is our individual historical mission to realize what we must do and in what context God has called us in the great overall flow of God's great work of salvation.  Each of us must think seriously what our mission is in the course of God's work of salvation.  What kind of life is it to live up to that mission?  We must ask this kind of question and make every effort to achieve the unique mission given to each of us.  In the midst of this, we must overcome the adversities and difficulties that come from completing each of our missions and the temptations and persecutions that come from Satan.  In order to do this, we must experience God's work of salvation in our personal lives.  In other words, we must realize and understand the flow of God's work of salvation in our individual lives.  In other words, the essential element in fulfilling the mission is knowing and believing that the Lord is my Savior.

 

The psalmist David in Psalms 38 was a person who knew and experienced the Lord as the Savior.  In the midst of the trouble and persecution because of his sin, he prayed to God: “Come quickly to help me, O Lord my Savior” (v. 22).  I would like to receive the grace given by meditating in three ways about the life of those who know, believe, and experience the Lord as their Savior.

 

            First, those who know, believe, and experience the Lord as their Savior wait for the Lord.


                Look at Psalms 38:15 – “I wait for you, O LORD; you will answer, O Lord my God.”  The psalmist David became like a deaf man and a mute when those who sought his life set their traps and who tried to harm him and talked of his ruin and plotted deception (vv. 12-13).  In other words, David looked only at the Lord in silence with his ears closed and his mouth closed when his enemies tried to harm him in wicked scheme.  Like David, we should be like the deaf people who don’t listen to the things that we aren’t suppose to listen.  David didn't listen to the enemies who surrounded him when they talked of his ruin (v. 12), or speaking about the destruction of David (Park).  How can we live by listening to all those who hate us and oppose us?  When we need to cover our ears, we need to do so.  In particular, we must close our ears to the voices of the world and open our ears to listen to the voice of the Lord.  Also, we need to be mute like David who don’t open our mouth.  When we need to be silent, we should be silent.  dDavid didn’t try to protect himself by opening his mouth and making some defenses while his enemies were conspiring to harm him in their wicked schemes and trying to destroy him (v. 14).

 

I am sure we experienced that when we opened our mouth to defend ourselves, a problem got biggerSometimes excuses make the problem bigger.  It is said that the famous philosopher Plato once had serious misunderstandings from those around him.  So even though many people criticized him, he didn’t try to excuse his situation.  So a disciple asked Plato: ‘Teacher!  Why don't you make an excuse?’  At that time Plato replied: ‘It is not my excuse to end their accusations.  The only way to silence their accusations is my righteous deeds (Internet).  As we live in this world, we sometimes are accused because of misunderstanding.  So we may have tried a number of way to solve the misunderstanding.  However, it isn’t easily solved, but we see that there are times when the misunderstanding deepens like the thread that is entangled.  We the saints must know how to quietly wait for God's guidance and God's time.  It would be foolish to go before God and try to solve the problem that is before us.  Jesus was misunderstood and criticized so many times on this earth.  But Jesus patiently waited for the Father's time.  It is a beautiful life that completely obeys God's will (Internet).

 

                When we are suffering and struggling with an unfair accusation, we should be silent and look at the Lord.  We shouldn't open our ears and try to be too sensitive to what people say.  Just because we open our mouths and make excuses doesn't mean that the misunderstanding will be resolved.  Like David, we should be like the deaf and the mute people and quietly go to the Lord and ask the Lord in silence.  Especially when we go to God and pray to Him, we should pray with the assurance of answered prayers like David.  Look at Psalms 38:15 – “For I hope in You, O LORD; You will answer, O Lord my God.”  If we translate this literally, it is ‘You will soon answer.  My Lord and my God’ (Park).  Like David, who prayed with confidence in prayer answers while hoping only in the Lord, we should hope only in God in silence.

 

Second, those who know, believe, and experience the Lord as their Savior open their mouth and confess their iniquity.


                Look at Psalms 38:18 – “For I confess my iniquity; I am full of anxiety because of my sin.”  It is interesting and amazing how David is confessing his sins.  I am sure David saw the sins of his enemies.  But instead of focusing on their sins, David focused on his own sins and confessed them before God.  This reminds us to think about the attitude of faith again.  In other words, in the persecution, adversity, suffering, and pain because of the enemies, there is no need to be stressed and pained by opening your ears to people and by hearing such slanders or accusations, and we don’t need to open our mouth and make excuses.  Instead, while quietly hoping in the Lord in silence, we must realize our sin in God’s holy presence and confess our sins to Him.  David, who used his enemies’ opposition and persecution as opportunities not for resentment and complaining but for examining himself before God and confessing his sin to Him, teaches us to be deaf and mute and go to God to pour out our hearts to Him in repentance.  In Psalms 38:16-18, we can see what David asking God while he is hoping only in the Lord.  We can summarize his prayer in two ways.

 

(1)   The first prayer is found in Psalms 38:16 – “For I said, ‘May they not rejoice over me, Who, when my foot slips, would magnify themselves against me.’”

 

David's prayer was two: (a) One is David prayed that his enemies wouldn’t rejoice when he failed, (b) another one is he prayed that his enemies wouldn’t ignore God and magnify themselves against him if he fails (Park).  This prayer is actually the prayer that pursuit God's glory.  The reason is that David, in the midst of his enemies’ persecution, was hoping only in God and praying to Him.  But if God didn’t answer his prayer, then his enemies would magnify themselves and proud of themselves.  Then his prayer in trusting God would become useless and it wouldn’t be glorifying God but would bring shame to Him.  That was why David asked God to hear his supplication even for His own glory.

 

(2)   The second prayer is about David confessing his sin to God (v. 18).  Because of his sin, David was ready to fall, and his sorrow was continually before him (v. 17).

 

In light of verse 3, David was in so much pain because of his sin that there was no health in his bones (v. 3).  Then, in the end, we see how he confessed his sin to God, that is he mourned for his sin.  When the Lord's hand was heavy upon David day and night, David acknowledged his sin to God (32:4; 38:2).  What an amazing work of God?  He could have opened his mouth to defend himself and make excuses.  But God made David to confess his sin in suffering and sorrow.  As we are silent before people, we need to open our mouth to God and confess our sins to Him.

 

Third and last, those who know, believe, and experience the Lord as their Savior follow what is good.

 

                Look at Psalms 38:20 – “Do not forsake me, O LORD; O my God, do not be far from me!”  Even in the midst of his enemies’ persecution, David didn’t stop pursuing good while confessing his sins in his prayer to God.  He did good to his enemies, but they repaid David's good for evil.  That is, they opposed David.  It is an amazing faith that David pursued good even in in the midst of his enemies opposing him.  Interestingly, the more we do good, the bigger and stronger Satan's work will be.  Look at the work of David’s enemies when David did good amidst the his enemies’ persecution: “But my enemies are vigorous and strong, And many are those who hate me wrongfully” (v. 19).  Will we still pursue good when our enemies hate us and persecute us more actively and strongly as we do good to them?

 

                This is the life of a believer who looks at and hope only in the Lord who is our salvation.  The secret of living a life of closing our ears to our enemies’ voices and our mouths to them but of opening our ears and mouths to God, and listening to His voice, confessing our sins to Him in prayers and pursuing good is to look to God and hope and trust in Him.  So, in pursuit of good, David prayed to God when his enemies opposed him: “O LORD, do not forsake me; be not far from me, O my God.  Come quickly to help me, O Lord my Savior” (vv. 21-22).

 

In the great flow of God's work of salvation, we must know, meet and experience the Lord our Savior every day in order to realize our mission and devote ourselves fully to fulfill it.  In other words, the stream of God's work of salvation must flow in our lives.  As we experience the flow of that salvation work, we must hold onto the words of Zephaniah 3:17 and sing toward the salvation of the Lord and go toward that heaven:

 

“The LORD your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior He will exult over you with joy,

He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.”

 

 

 

 

As I quietly look to Almighty God in faith who will bring salvation,

 

 

James Kim

(Confession my sin of doubt to Him)