Daily Readings & Thought for January 11th. “MAY INTEGRITY AND UPRIGHTNESS … ”
David’s meditations in the Psalms, which are essentially prayers, continually engage our thoughts. Indeed, they are a model for us to follow in judging the quality of our relationship with God. Are we able to meditate and pray in any way to the same degree?
Psalm 25 has some verses that both challenge and inspire us. “Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths” [v.4] We are asking God to ‘make’ us!! What child asks a parent to ‘make’ him or her be good? And that not just once, but constantly, as a way of life!
The next verse has, “Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.” David is asking God to ‘lead him’ and ‘teach him.’ The Hebrew for “lead” is rather interesting – it occurs again in v.9 “He leads the humble in what is right.” The A V has ‘guides’ – but the Hebrew also has the sense of bending the bow to ‘guide’ the arrow fitted to it.
David uses it first in Psalm 7 v.12, “If a man does not repent, God will whet his sword; he has bent and readied his bow” In Psalm 11 v.2 David says, “behold, the wicked bend the bow … to shoot … at the upright in heart” The purpose in bending the bow, is to do it in a way that it will ‘guide’ the arrow fitted to it – to its intended destination. The aims of God and the aim of the ungodly are opposite extremes. Also in v.5 we noted the words, “for you I wait all the day long.” What is the ‘sense’ of wait? The word also occurs in v. 3, “”Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame.” Verse 21 says, “May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for thee” There has to be a quality of character in our waiting, and are we not waiting for the return of Christ!?
The Hebrew original word here for WAIT is most interesting, in Psalm 69 v.20 it is translated, “I looked for pity, but there was none, and for comforters, but I found none.” When you are waiting you are looking for something or someone! How fascinating then, is the first time this word is used in Hebrew; we found it in Genesis 1 v.9! “And God said, let the waters under the heavens be gathered together and let the dry land appear.” We are waiting for our Lord to be gathered together to be with him.
Finally we can use Paul’s words, they are so parallel to David’s. In 2 Thess. 3 v.5 “May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and into the patient waiting for Christ.” (AV) The ESV has “to the steadfastness of Christ.” Let us be steadfast in our patient waiting, aiming for “integrity and uprightness.”