Thursday, February 26, 2009

Psalm 25

Psalm 25

My favorite verse is "Let not mine enemies triumph over me." Whatever those enemies are: sickness, despair, poverty, anger, lust.

If there is one thing I cannot stand it's someone triumphing over me. A minister's wife once said to me, "I noticed how you reacted to King Xerxes. You really have a problem with authority." (rolling eyes here; give me a break! The woman wanted me to kow-tow to her very odd pastor husband and was looking for something to pin on me. There are some very insecure folks out there who become pastors. And the more insecure some men are the more prone they are to wanting to force women to listen to them and obey them. But that's a two way street: men are supposed to sacrifice themselves for their wives as Christ did for the church, then a woman can submit to them. Why submit to a man or a pastor if he's a jerk? And mildly correcting a fool is not disobedience to authority, anyway. It's challenging his ego: quite a different thing. But that's all I'll say about that.) I had problem with the Esther story because folks are always talking about it as a great romance and ministers use it to show what a perfect wife should be. But nowhere in the story does it say Esther is happy to be married to a many with a zillion wives in his harem who sees her once every six weeks! MOVING ON!

Anyway, there is nothing more annoying to me than having to swallow my pride and squelch my spirit. I don't like giving in to arrogant men, to stupid people, to rich people, to pushy women, to demons. I like giving in to God but heck I hate doing that
through other people. I so do NOT like anyone triumphing over me. It hurts. And I am not going to tell anyone they have to obey anyone. We don't know how crushed their spirits are. . . and telling someone with a crushed spirit that they have to obey some cruel person doesn't cut it with me.

But there is a difference between humiliation and humility. When I first moved into my house, I dreamed of my old boss -- the one who gave me a stroke because he was such a bully. He said to me, "Humble and abase yourself under my hand and I will raise you up." I answered him, "Being humbled is one thing, being humiliated is another." That was 20 years of so ago and that has stayed with me.

The Bible says "wisdom is a defense and money is a defense, but the excellency of wisdom is that it gives life to those who have it." Money is a great defense against the troubles of life. Heck Luke writes "Blessed are the poor" and Matthew writes "Blessed are the poor in spirit." Same thing. The poor, the weak, the sickly, the outcast, have no defense against the troubles of life. It's a money thing, it's a power thing. Surely, Oprah doesn't suffer from being poor in spirit. How can she when she's got money and power and fame? (Not saying she doesn't suffer in her own way, though.) But there is a good way to handle humiliation which is a lot like humility. And last night the Lord reminded me that when I snapped at that *sshole of a bill collector yesterday I was well on the way to repeating the same thing I had done last year when I got into a fit of pique with my malicious gun-toting neighbor. I must learn to be quiet no matter who triumphs over me. Let God fight my fight and let God let me triumph.

1Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul.

2O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.

3Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause.

4Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.

5Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

6Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old.

7Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness' sake, O LORD.

8Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way.

9The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.

10All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.

11For thy name's sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.

12What man is he that feareth the LORD? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.

13His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth.

14The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.

15Mine eyes are ever toward the LORD; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.

16Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted.

17The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses.

18Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.

19Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred.

20O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee.

21Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee.

22Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.
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