March 12: Cry Out Like the Psalmist
Numbers 13:1–33; John 18:25–19:16; Psalm 13:1–6
We often read the very bold psalms of the Bible without really reading them. We’re used to their cadence, their cries, and their requests. They seem appropriate in contexts where war, death, and enemies or mutinous friends were a daily reality. For that reason, these cries don’t always resound off the pages and fill our own lips, even when they should.
“How long, O Yahweh? Will you forget me forever?” says the psalmist (Psa 13:1). “Consider and answer me, O Yahweh my God” (Psa 13:3).
Often, when going through the difficulties of life, these cries should be our own. Instead, we try to lean on our own strength. We rely on the bravery and wisdom that we think rests deep inside us. We try to muster courage. We engage the fear. The psalmist acknowledges that this isn’t the way it’s supposed to be: “How long must I take counsel in my soul, and sorrow in my heart all the day?” (Psa 13:2).
Instead, we should be crying out with the helplessness that is closer to our true reality. The next time you feel anxious, stop and pray. Turn over your cries to the one who can do something about them. When you do so, acknowledge that God is your God (Psa 13:3).
Acknowledge His steadfast love (Psa 13:3). He will hear you and answer you. And, as the psalm states, He will deal bountifully with you (Psa 13:6).
How are you trying to resolve the problems of your life? How can you turn to God in these moments?
REBECCA VAN NOORD
- Then afterward the people removed from Hazeroth, and pitched in the wilderness of Paran. and the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Send thou men out to search the land of Canaan which I give unto the children of Israel: of every tribe of their fathers shall ye send a man, such as are all rulers among them. Then Moses sent them out of the wilderness of Paran at the commandment of the Lord: all those men were heads of the children of Israel. Also their names are these: of the tribe of Reuben, Shammua the son of Zaccur: Of the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat the son of Hori: Of the tribe of Judah, Caleb the son of Jephunneh:Of the tribe of Issachar, Igal the son of Joseph: Of the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea the son of Nun: Of the tribe of Benjamin, Palti the son of Raphu: Of the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel the son of Sodi: Of the tribe of Joseph, to wit, of the tribe of Manasseh, Gaddi the son of Susi: Of the tribe of Dan, Ammiel the son of Gemalli: Of the tribe of Asher, Sethur the son of Michael: Of the tribe of Naphtali, Nahbi the son of Nophsi: Of the tribe of Gad, Geuel the son of Machi. These are the names of the men, which Moses sent to spy out the land: and Moses called the name of Hoshea the son of Nun, Joshua. So Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said to them, Go up this way toward the South, and go up into the mountains. And consider the land what it is, and the people that dwell therein, whether they be strong, or weak, either few or many. Also what the land is that they dwell in, whether it be good or bad: and what cities they be, that they dwell in, whether they dwell in tents, or in walled towns. And what the land is: whether it be fat or lean, whether thre be trees therein, or not. And be of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land (for then was the time of the first ripe grapes.) So they went up, an searched out the land, from the wildernes of Zin unto Rehob, to go to Hamath. And they ascended toward the South, and came unto Hebron, where were Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the sons of Anak. And Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt. Then they came to the river of Eshcol, and cut down thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bare it upon a bar between two, and brought of the pomegranates and of the figs. That place was called the river Eshcol, because of the cluster of grapes, which the children of Israel cut down thence. Then after forty days they turned again from searching of the land. And they went and came to Moses and to Aaron, and unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, in the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh, and brougt to them, and to all the Congregation tidings, and showed them the fruit of the land. And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou hast sent us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey: and here is the fruit of it. Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled and exceeding great: and moreover, we swaw the sons of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the South country, and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the mountains, and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coasts of Jordan. Then Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it: for undoubtedly we shall overcome it. But the men that went up with him, said, We be not able to go up against the people: for they are stronger than we. So they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched for the children of Israel, saying, The land which we have gone through to search it out, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof: for all the people that we saw in it, are men of great stature. Numbers 13:1–33
- And Simon Peter stood and warmed himself, and they said unto him, Art not thou also of his disciples? He denied it, and said, I am not. One of the servants of hte high Priest, his cousin whose ear Peter smote off, said, Did not I see thee in the garden with him? Peter then denied again, and immediately the cock crew. Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas into the common hall. Now it was morning, and they themselves went not into the common hall, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover. Pilate then went out unto them, and said, What accusation bring ye against this man? They answered, and said unto him, If he were not an evil doer, we would not have delivered him unto thee. Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye him, and judge him after your own Law. Then the Jews said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death. It was that the word of jesus might be fulfilled which he spake, signifying what death he should die. So Pilate entered into the common hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the king of the Jews? Jesus answered him, Sayest thou that of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation, and the high Priest have delivered thee unto me. What hast thou done? Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if thy kingdom were of this world, my servants would surely fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. Pilate then said unto him, Art thou a King then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a King: for this cause am I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should be witness unto the truth: everyone that is of the truth, heareth my voice. Pilate said unto him, What is truth? And when he had said that, he went out again unto the jews, and said unto them, I find in him no cause at all. But you have a custom that I should deliver you one loose at the Passover: will ye then that I loose unto you the King of the Jews? Then cried they all again, saying, Not him, but Barabbas: now this Barabbas was a murerer. Then pilate took Jesus and scourged him. And the soldier platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple garment, And said, Hail King of the Jews. And they smote him with their rods. Then Pilate went forth again, and said unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know, that I find no fault in him at all. Then came Jesus forth wearing a crown of thorns, and a purple garment. And Pilate said unto them, Behold the man. Then when the high Priests and officers saw him, they cried, saying, Crucify, crucify him: for I find no fault in him. The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. When Pilate then heard that word, he was the more afraid, And went again into the common hall, and said unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him none answer. Then said Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? Knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to loose thee? Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above, therefore he that delivered me unto thee, hath the greater sin. From thenceforth Pilate sought to loose him, but the Jews cried, saying, If thou deliver him, thou art not Caesar’s friend: for whosoever maketh himself a King, speaketh against Caesar. When Pilate heard this word, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place called the pavement, and in Hebrew, Gabbatha. And it was the Preparation of the Passover, and about the sixth hour: and he said unto the Jews, Behold your King. But they cried, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate said unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The high Priests answered, We have no King but Caesar. Then delivered he him unto them, to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away. John 18:25–19:16
- How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord, forever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me? How long shall I take counsel within myself having weariness daily in mine heart? how long shall mine enemy be exalted above me? Behold, and hear me, O Lord my God: lighten mine eyes, that I sleep not in death. Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him: and they that afflict me, rejoice, when I slide. But I trust in thy mercy: mine heart shall rejoice in thy salvation; I will sing to the Lord, because he hath dealt lovingly with me. Psalm 13:1–6