King David wrote one of his most powerful psalms during a time of great repentance. Psalm 51 is no doubt second to Psalm 23 in familiarity, and like it Psalm 51 shows an intimacy with God and also a desire to share that intimacy with others.
Have you ever noticed how little we praise God when we have unconfessed sin? It is hard to praise a Holy God if were are guilty of sin and David understood that better than anyone:
“Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, the God of my salvation, and my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.” (Psalm 51:14)
The beauty of David’s psalms is that he did not try to hide his imperfections from man; it is one thing to confess your sins privately to a loving and forgiving God, but to share your personal conversations with God openly for others to hear is truly a work of God’s grace.
David knew much grace.
We don’t know who the author of Psalm 119 was, most believe he was post-exilic, but we do know from his writing that he too was a man who knew much grace and he shares throughout the psalm his struggles in living a righteous life. In the middle of a passage titled Tau is verse 172:
“My tongue shall speak of Your word, for all Your commandments are righteousness.”
As I read that passage and keyed on verse 172 the Holy Spirit asked me, “How often to you speak of God’s Word and why?
The second part kind of threw me…why?
Why do I speak of God’s Word when I do? What do you mean Lord?
“David, do you speak of My Word because you know it and want to show others what you know?”
“Or do you speak of My Word because like the psalmist you believe it to be righteous?”
Am I sharing God’s Word because it is the aletheia truth or because it just might help me win an argument?
Do I live my life as though God is with me and guiding me directly and do I approach man with the same knowledge?
The great Roman philosopher Seneca puts it this way:
“Live among men as if God beheld you; speak to God as if men were listening.”
Interesting concept, yes?
Clearly the first part is beneficial to us and to others but why is it important to “speak to God as if men were listening”?
What would I have them hear me say to God? One word.
When I speak to God as if men are listening I want to speak praise to Jesus because He is worthy.
Oh would I have written or spoken Paul’s words:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1:3-6)
Might I praise you in such a way Jesus?
Might I live my life as though you hold me in Your hand and might I speak to you as though men are listening in?
May it be so to Your glory Father, in Jesus’ name, amen.
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Copyright © 2009 David Jeffers