Today’s readings.. (Exodus 29), (Psalms 85,86), (Mark 14)

Today we read a most moving and personal prayer of David. It begins, “Incline your ear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Preserve my life for I am godly.” [Psa. 86] Can we pray as David did? But in what sense are we poor and needy? Many might say this today, but not mean it in the sense we think David did, In his prayer he said, “O God, insolent men have risen up against me; a band of ruthless men seek my life, they do not set you before them.” [v.14]
In this the experiences of “the son of David,” our Lord are parallel; we read today in Mark 14 of his arrest when Judas Iscariot, under the cloak of darkness, led “a crowd with swords and clubs” [v.43] in betraying him. The disciples fled, but the time was to come when their eyes were opened to the meaning of it all and their lack of faith was forgiven.
It would be then that Psalms such as this one would be most meaningful to them – as they are, or should be, to us. “For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you. Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer; listen to my plea for grace.” [v.5,6] Verse 11 has a special appeal, “Teach me your way O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.”
How often does our heart experience a sense of discord – the world’s values and desires pull one way – and divine thoughts pull another! Tragically some give up reading the Bible to avoid feeling this discord.
Does the Bible seem unreal in this modern world? Many have that feeling. Well, think, do the attitudes in the world seem real – in the sense of having a purpose and direction for the future? Paul wrote of the attitudes in his day, “ … they did not honour him as God, but became futile in their thinking and their foolish hearts were darkened.” [Rom. 1 v.21] In contrast, may we say with David, “I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart …” [v.12]

* Click verse text to see cross references.
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