Wednesday, January 21, 2009

God is my Sustainer… (Psalm 54) 210109

Yesterday was a good day. I have gotten some parts of my house being cleaned up, with the help of a part-time cleaner. She helped me to clean up all the windows, washed the two toilets, scrubbed my kitchen floor, wipe all the kitchen cabinets, cleaned all the fans, and cleaned up the interior part of the cabinet under my stove and sink (this is the dirtiest part of my house, in my opinion). Anyway, my house is much cleaner now. It is good to live in a clean house.
I remember that there was once, I had a battle with hundreds of cockroaches ( Though I have won that battle and the cockroaches suffered great casualties, they never give up in re-organizing themselves and call in for reinforcement to plan for a cockroaches strike back. I also did not relax in my defense. I have sealed up my drainage hole with a valve-like mechanism (water can be drained out, but cockroaches cannot enter from there); I have also planted a pot of pandan leaves near the rubbish bin. But all these couldn’t deter the cockroaches’ commando team to penetrate into my house, and they will leave behind eggs waiting for the right time to launch another attack in my house again.
The cleanup of the area under my stove and sink, eliminated majority of the eggs; and I can have peace for a while. God has sent the part-time cleaner to destroy my enemies. God is my deliverer, for He has delivered me from all my cockroaches (v7).
Do you have enemies like mine? Maybe your enemies are your colleagues whom keep backstabbing you because you always leave early for small groups on Friday and refuse to work on Sunday even the company pays you extra. Maybe your enemies are your classmates whom refuse to take you in as part of their group for projects because you always cannot to meet on Sunday for discussion. Maybe your enemies are other rude road users with big and expensive cars because they like to honk at you when you refuse to change lane at double white lines and slow them down.
I think it is alright to have enemies, the psalmist also has enemies. Though we are not sure who they were, the fact is that the psalmist has such a psalm to ask God to destroy them (v5).
The most important thing of this psalm is not about how God is going to destroy the enemies and vindicate the psalmist (v1). It is about the character of God being his helper and sustainer of his soul (v4). This is the central theme of this psalm, both theologically and structurally.
A. Prayer for Deliverance (vv.1-2)
B. Occasion of the Prayer (v.3)
C. Affirmation of Trust (v.4)
B'. Resolution of the Prayer (v.5)
A'. Thanksgiving for Deliverance (vv.6-7)

Such structure of this psalm can hardly be missed. This is a very common way how Hebrew writers like to structure their work, both in poetry like psalm and even in narrative like the story of Ruth.
I believe that the psalmist longed for deliverance, he also longed to be vindicated; but most importantly, he knew and acknowledged God as his helper and sustainer of his soul (v4). We can be easily overwhelmed and overrun by our enemies. But there is one thing which no enemies can take away from us is our soul, only we can give it up ourselves. All that enemies can do is to weaken it and make you want to give it up. But God is the sustainer of my soul, He can sustain me and keep giving me hope to press on and hang on.
I just have a Day Alone with God. Those who are in pastoral ministry need such time to allow ourselves to realize that God is the sustainer of our souls. God is also the sustainer of your soul. Take time to realize that and allow Him to keep re-nourishing your soul.
My enemies, the cockroaches, can keep coming and launch their attacks, but God is my helper, and He is the sustainer of my soul. I will not give up holding my fort and defense my house from these cockroaches. Sometimes, I might feel tired and lax in my defense; God is my helper and my sustainer. I will get up and fight back. And no cockroaches will have victory in my house!


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