Saturday, February 11, 2012

The way up is Down!

Psalm 129:3-4
Plowmen have plowed my back and made their furrows long. 4 But the LORD is righteous; he has cut me free from the cords of the wicked.

            A guided study of the Psalms  led to these verses in 129 and the idea was proposed how sometimes we “offer our backs” to oppressors. It’s like you may have seen where a dog cowers and approaches his master (or even a lead dog) crawling with his head down on his paws. Both of these scenarios give us the impression of fear and punishment at the master’s hand.
            Many times we are our own worst accusers, bowing down, saying “we are not worthy” and putting ourselves out of the Christian Journey because of our sins and/or failures. But this is not the kind of getting down on our face that is being taught through Scripture. We are not letting others make of us a doormat, but rather we are choosing to humble ourselves before God. And this is not an oppressor or accuser we are bowing before, but rather our maker who loves us.
Then as we turned to Psalm 130, we were encouraged that there is no punishment here, only “Full Redemption”!

Psalm 130:7
Israel, put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.

            About that time I also heard a sermon on the tenth chapter in Acts where Peter meets Cornelius. It describes Cornelius as bowing down at Peter’s feet.

            Peter tells him, "None of that—I'm a man and only a man, no different from you." (vs 2 The Message) Just like in Psalm 123:2As the eyes of  slaves look to the hand of their master,  as the eyes of a female slave look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God,  till he shows us his mercy.”

The picture was of a servant awaiting the master’s favor at which time he would lift the servant’s head. The pastor so richly described for us the picture of our bowing down before the Lord and Him graciously lifting our head to look us in the face with favor and love. For more years than I can remember I have heard the song “Humble thyself in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up.” Putting into practice the act of getting down on my face before the Lord and learning that with Him the way up is down has caused that song to have a whole new ring to it.  

          Thank you Lord for being the lifter of my head. When I have faltered you are there, waiting only for me to humbly come and then you grant me your favor. Your handmaiden is overcome with gratitude and joy. Amen

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