AWAKE BIBLE IN A YEAR APRIL 23
Read Psalm 81, 88, 92-93
Asaph calls the Israelites to praise in Psalm 81. Praise means you do something! Psalm81; SING, SHOUT, STRIKE THE TIMREL, PLAY THE HARP AND LYRE, AND SOUND THE RAM’S HORN. God speaks, and it may be unknown, BUT HE will speak.
THE PSALM ENCOURAGES US LISTEN.
When I take the time to hear from God, HIS WORD to me is like honey. Honey from a rock. Psalm 81:16 Hear the impossible in this last verse. Honey from the hardest places of my life. His word is my bread. I am like Jesus LIVING ON the word God has for me. We are fed by God’s provision. WE have what you provide. No striving.
Heman the Ezrahite, takes a different approach. HE witnessed/participated in the worship as the ark of the covenant entered JERUSALEM.
CHECK IT OUT…from my studies Solomon is contrasted to HEMAN, the grandson of SAMUEL.
“He was wiser than anyone else, including Ethan the Ezrahite—wiser than Heman” (1 Kings 4:31)
Heman served in Israel as a Levite, a seer, a songwriter, a father of 14 sons and 3 daughters (1 Chronicles 25:4-6). HE is a man of prayer during the time of David and Solomon. He authored: “Lord, you are the God who saves me; day and night I cry out to you” Psalm 88:1.
Passion marks the house of GOD. Heman goes on to describe despair with imagery of an engulfing flood, death and terror. Psalm 88 is ALL questioning and continual prayer, and NO MORE, NO FLUFF.
It’s as if HE says, LORD I am praying each morning, and night, I AM CRYING so much my friends have ghosted me. Pure honest need. Raw emotions of personal lament. The Psalmist has no defined petition or promise of future praise.
Prayer continues in the darkness. We see how faith reacts to terror, and fights to stay awake in the unavoidable dark of despair. It’s as if HE TURNS UP THE VOLUME on HIS PRAYER LIFE yet promises no future platitude of praise, no polite promise to quell the unease of HIS prayer. It is the Psalm of a nonviolent protest. I can see HEMAN in the court of heaven unmoved, lying down much like my children when they were little, the dead weight of their frame like a sack of flour hunched over before YAHWEH. WHERE DID YOU GO LORD? ARE YOU THERE? PICK UP, PICK UP, I’m calling you like an abandon lover sick with my grief. YHWH may stay quiet but prayers will pack HIS VOICEMAIL beyond what is safe, polite or a number that has some form of decorum. In Psalm 18 we see a widow who prays in this manner.
AND THIS IS WISDOM.
“The lack of mercy sends us to prayer; the enjoyment of mercy sends us to praises.” Samuel Bolton 1606–1654, The Wonderful Workings of God for His Church and People