Friday, February 8, 2019

Scratching the Surface of the Psalms - 40

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


Scratching the Surface of the Psalms


“Have You Had It With It?”

          It’s an ancient verity that’s always current: “How do you know if a politician is lying?  Her/his lips are moving.”

          37: “I am not a crook!”

          41: “Read my lips!  No new taxes!”

          42: “I didn’t inhale…[and]…I didn’t have sex with that woman…”

          44: “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.”

          While you can get into trouble for saying this in a state that’s made an industry of his legacy despite the apostle saying all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, truth is 16 even had some ethical hiccups.

          It’s like the inventor of the internet who’s made a fortune on climate change without offering any viable solutions or personal modeling for dealing with it observed, “A zebra doesn’t change its spots.”

          Breaking the 9th commandment of God has always been a lot easier than keeping it.

          Pero let’s get back to 42 who was fortunate enough to be P before the “Me Too” movement: “It all depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.”

          Not even 45’s idolaters could spin a lie that well.


          Rhymes with…illegit…dimwit…a bit…quite a bit…chomp at the bit…get up and git…smash hit…close knit…play hard to git…lit…nit…sit…split…[and my favorite for this occasion]…throw a fit.

          Moretheless, if you’re like me, you’ve had it with it.

          Haven’t you had it with men who don’t take off their hats in restaurants or remember the common courtesy of ladies before gentlemen along with gender-inclusive selfies who never turn off the lights when they leave the room or lock the doors when leaving the building or must have had the exact number of staples in the stapler and paper in the duplicating machine or don’t flush or pick up or put down the…?

          That’s that little, uh, it.

          Then there’s the really big, uh, it like bullying, bruising, beating, battering, and butchering in the name of nationalism or religion or…

          Talking about how bad it is getting, there’s a banner making the rounds these days that brings those neo-Nazi governors and legislators in New York and Virginia to mind.  From what I’ve been able to discover, it first appeared as a counter-protest at the 2011 Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco: “If Mary Had Had An Abortion, We Wouldn’t Be In This Mess.”

          I kid you not.

          It’s getting that bad aka unGodly, mes amis.

          Of course, there’s nothing original about sin.

          We’ve been breaking all of God’s laws for getting along with Him and each other ever since Moses brought down the first edition: “You shall have no other gods before me except for the ones who promise lots of free stuff…You shall not make for yourself an idol unless it really looks good in the narthex or town square…You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God unless you’re really, uh, ticked off…Remember the sabbath day unless you’re hung over or have really good tickets…Honor your father and your mother if it’ll keep you in the will…You shall not murder unless you live in Virginia, New York, and…You shall not commit adultery unless you’re really in love and can get away with it…You shall not steal too much…You shall not bear false witness unless you must to get your way…and…You shall not covet as long as you can beg, borrow, or steal.

          Truly, truly, truly, anybody who still cares about Jesus by the book has had it with it.

          It’s like the little card that I hang on my study door whenever I’ve had it with it in churches: “The more I read through the Bible, the less I have in common with modern Christianity.”

          David had it with it.

          Psalm after psalm after psalm expresses David’s disappointments, disgust, and disdain for it while begging divine deliverance from it.

          Psalm 40 repeats the theme of Godly people like David being fed up with it: “I waited patiently for God who heard me and helped me…[yet]…I still need You, God, because so many troubles continue to surround me.  They want to disgrace, confound, harm, and humiliate me…On top of that, I can’t stop sinning either.  My sins are more than the hairs on my head…Please deliver me from them and me!  Hurry up and help me, Lord!”

          Surely, David always ends up thanking God for interceding supernaturally in his life to save him: “How happy is the man who has put his trust in the Lord and has not turned to the proud or those who run after lies!”

          As usual, David ends by singing the praises of God because God always saves the faithful: “Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You.  Let those who love Your salvation continually say, ‘The Lord is great!’”

          Still, even as the praises extol the saving graces of God, David notes the continuing struggles with it that will always require God’s intervention: “I am afflicted and needy.  I know You know that.  I know You never stop thinking of me.  You are my help.  You are my deliverer.  So, my God, do not delay.”

          David knows it will never end.

          Though he’s had it with it, he knows he will always need God to save him.

          He knows the only way to keep keepin’ on and get over it is to stay close to Him.

          That’s why we always include these words at the end of every worship service on the corner of Lincoln and Main: “Until next time, continue in God’s peace through faith in Jesus!…Love God and be kind to one another!…Remember, the answer to every question is Jesus!…And if you care, pray and work to make America Godly again!…The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all!”

          If you’ve had it with it, get with Jesus!

          He is the only way to get over it!

          When I’m feeling down about it, I read psalms like 40, Biblically meditate or wrap my soul around His Word enfleshed in Jesus and explained in the Bible, and often go to YouTube and watch Martin Luther King, Jr.’s last public witness on April 3, 1968 at Memphis, Tennessee’s Masonic Temple; turning up the volume as high as I can take it for the last few minutes: “Well, I don’t know what will happen now.  We’ve got some difficult days ahead.  But it doesn’t really matter with me now.  Because I’ve been to the mountaintop.  And I don’t mind.  Like anybody, I would like to live a long life.  Longevity has its place.  But I’m not concerned about that now.  I just want to do God’s will.  And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain.  And I’ve looked over.  And I’ve seen the promised land.  I may not get there with you.  But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the promised land.  And I’m happy tonight.  I’m not worried about anything.  I’m not fearing any man.  Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”

          That’s why the earliest creed in Christendom remains the clearest and most conclusive witness to what we can do about it: “Jesus is Lord!”


Blessings and Love!


Wake up! Look up! Stand up! Speak up! Act up for Jesus!

Shatter the sound of silence!

Salt! Shine! Leavenate!





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