In contrast to the wonderful spiritual perceptions of Psalm 139 which we read yesterday, today we have a Psalm which is in some ways the opposite. The superscription at the start says it was a prayer of David when he was in a cave. David was twice in great peril in caves, once when he fled from the King of Gath and the second when he was hiding from Saul at Engedi. Imagine being totally on your own, hiding.   In some circumstances you are totally perplexed as to what to do next, your “spirit faints.”

    David writes, “I cry out to the LORD … I plead for mercy to the LORD … I tell my trouble before himWhen my spirit faints within me, you know my way!” [Psa. 142 v.1-3]   God knew his way – yet David had lost sight of this and laments, “no refuge remains for me; no one cares for my soul.” [v.4].   

    In the next verse he regains his vision, “I cry out to you, O LORD; I say, ‘You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.’ Attend to my cry, for I am brought very low!” [v.5,6]   Such is our human nature that while we can at times climb spiritual heights we can, in times of distress, lose sight of the wonder that our Lord Jesus and our Heavenly Father should always be our portion, our refuge so that when we are cast down and our spirit faints within us we can say to God, “you know my way.”

    Our reading in Luke today provides a useful lesson; it is the failure of the people of Capernaum to appreciate the wonder of “the mighty works” that had been done there.  In a sense, this city had been “exalted to heaven” [Luke 10 v.15] because of what they had witnessed. Jesus means this experience should have caused great repentance and humility. But it didn’t, so Jesus says, “You shall be brought down to Hades (the grave)”   

    Today, clever scientists are discovering more and more of the incredible wonders of creation – yet they explain them all away as evolution!   They, and all who agree with them, will suffer the same fate as Capernaum!  Let us open our eyes as we read God’s words every day and be “exalted to heaven” and see the meaning of life from a heavenly point of view.

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