Singing As We Plant #6
Take time to read the entirety of Psalm 6:1-10, and then come back and read the following verses again.
Turn, O Lord, deliver my life;
save me for the sake of your steadfast love.
For in death there is no remembrance of you;
in Sheol who will give you praise?
Psalm 6 is the first in a series of what is known as the ‘penitential’ Psalms. They are songs written about the sorrow of sin and the deep sadness that comes from regret. David was pleading with the Lord to not punish him for his sin and rebellion – “rebuke me not in your anger, nor discipline me in your wrath!” I imagine it as written in a minor key, with a 6/8 groove bumbling along beneath it. Think Radiohead meets Soundgarden meets Johnny Cash. It’s that sad – and it should be, because sin is a big deal.
The knowledge of the certainty of that day should dramatically alter the way we live today.
The feeling of separation from God brings a desperation and an urgency to David that leads him to do a few things. It leads him to pray, which is something that many of us stay away from when we sin. It leads him to tears (enough of them, I might add, to ruin his mattress), displaying a sorrow and contrition over sin that is humbling and exemplary. It leads him also to consider the brevity of life. David asked God to forgive him immediately, because he knew that he had no guarantee that there would be a tomorrow. David knew that cemeteries are silent places. The dead don’t have opportunity to cry out anymore.
This year is the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Its founder, Martin Luther, famously said: “There are two days in my calendar: This day and that day.” What he meant is that we all have “that day” ahead of us. That day when our hearts will stop beating; that day when our families and friends will get the news that we are gone. That day…when we will meet our Maker.
If you feel like you have drifted from God as a result of sin, then don’t hesitate for a moment more.
The knowledge of the certainty of that day should dramatically alter the way we live today. The problem is that most of us don’t consider that day enough. So we allow our ‘todays’ to blur into each other, in the continual hope that one day we will put ourselves right with God.
Don’t wait. Seek him now.
If you feel like you have drifted from God as a result of sin, then don’t hesitate for a moment more. Like David, remember that God has unfailing love. Nothing is too much for him to put right. Ask him today.
Singing as we plant
This day and that day.
Luther’s phrase applies to us. It applies to everyone. We plant churches because we believe that the declaration and the demonstration of the gospel through the church is how God saves people today, in view of that day.
Keeping sin and judgement central in our life and witness means that we keep Jesus and the gospel central in our preaching and practice. We have nothing to say if we forget the seriousness of sin. We have a message of serious joy if we remember it.
We have nothing to say if we forget the seriousness of sin. We have a message of serious joy if we remember it.
Gracious and merciful Father. My days are like grass before you and I know that they will pass quicker than I anticipate. Forgive me for the things I have done that put a distance between us. Thank you for the power of your Spirit in my life. I deeply desire to grow in strength, by your Spirit, to make the most of the days that I have. Thank you for your mercy displayed through your precious Son. Thank you for that mercy in me, and please pour out that mercy on my church and neighbourhood. It is in His name we pray.