Bible sunlight

I was so ready for last Sunday.

While the Psalms are much-loved, if we are honest they have bumps in the road. Really now, why are there all those corporate and individual laments, complaints, and woes? They do have a sameness to them.

We are in a lament Song again this week in our walk through the Psalms. For me, this recent string of laments come alive when I see what is unique in each. My eye and highlighter are drawn to the following in Psalm 57. As you read it—try it out loud—see if the flow of thought doesn’t light a fire in you, too.

First, notice the superscription—those words of introduction at the beginning of verse 1. This Song is written to the tune of “Do not destroy.” Psalms 57-59 and 75 share this tune. This is personal for me. Years ago my world was turned upside down and I was drawn to these Psalms and tune. They became the focus of many prayers, e.g., “Father, please do not let this time destroy my trust in You, my love for You, and my Christlike response to my circumstances.” David had Saul fiercely pursuing him to kill him. What or who would destroy you these days? Pray like David.

A second unique thing stands out in Psalm 57. David is stunning in what he affirms about God in the midst of his struggle. God is the God of mercy, the Most High God, the one God of steadfast love, He is intentional in pursuing His purpose(s) for us; God is or soon will be our rescuer and avenger. He is—alone—above the heavens and is to be exalted and glorified over all the earth. Whew! I recommend acknowledging these titles and works of the Father as the opening to your next prayer for help.

I’d like to repeat a third promise and work of God because Psalm 57 does so two times in eleven verses (3, 10): God is the God of steadfast love. A flippant or casual follower of Christ may dismiss God’s steadfast, loyal, lovingkindnesses as sentimental. But His love causes Him to judge unrighteousness and unrighteous men (3). His love moves Him to draw us to Himself, to deliver us from our enemies, and pour out his compassions upon us. God described Himself to Moses in this way, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin…” (Exodus 34:6-7). The Apostle Paul later reminds us, nothing can “separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Last, in light of these things, David’s heart is renewed and he must worship “among the peoples” (7-11). How full was my heart Sunday night when our church gathered outside, sitting side by side, worshipping Yahweh together. The Message paraphrases verse 7, “I’m ready, God, so ready from head to toe, ready to sing, ready to raise a tune.”

Like David, our laments can turn to joy!