Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What is the Wisest Thing to Do in Times of Serious Financial Distress and Political Confusion?

In times of distress it is good and wise and sensible to call on the Lord God and know that He hears and answers. The Psalmist is in distress and I writing from the first Song of Ascent in Psalm 120. Do turn to it as there is wisdom and insight and discernment in these sentences.

Now, do not write this off as being totally irrelevant. Over these next weeks and months we are going to need this help and advice.

This calls for a special quality of leadership and such leadership is scarce in these present times.

But, and we need to know and keep remembering this, when we think of Jesus weeping over the city, and His cries at the foot of the mount of Olives in the Garden of Gethsemane, these significant spiritual incidents did not mean that the burden was lifted. Jesus wept and prayed and went on to face the Cross.

If God does not remove the burden, we know that He will give us the strength to carry that burden. Jesus was so often confronted with the unknown in His Humanity and no more so that when He rides down the Mount of Olives.

The Psalmist here has something very specific in mind as he refers to lying lips and deceitful tongues. Jesus had to face both these when He underwent that inquisition.

This man has obviously been the victim of lying and deceit. We can identify with that. It is always good to get away from that type of thing and that type of person.

He is in emotional pain and expresses it. He releases it and he does not bottle it up. He does not pretend that he did not have these feelings. He is a victim of all this. Jesus frequently expressed His feelings.

The writer turns away from the lies he has heard and approaches God and His truth. The more disillusioned we become with the world the more motivated we will be to pursue the Christian way.

Lies and deceit are commonplace. That is a painful fact we have to accept. That is not being negative. It is just being realistic. There are times when we have to have sufficient courage to face sin and even the consequences of sin and deal with the situation as it really is and not as we would like it to be!

But God has sharp arrows which he aims at those who persist in lying and deceitfulness. The Psalmist renounces all that and walks away from it, and that would be sensible practical advice for any man.

People's words can be like sharp arrows piercing our hearts, and there are times when God's sharp arrows, His judgments, touch those who touch and hurt us. I have seen this happen!

The people of Meshech lived between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, and the people of Kedar were nomadic Arabs. The picture is that of a barbarian society which was strange and hostile, and not what God intended man to be.

People were warring against the Psalmist, and he knew he was a man of peace, and he is looking to see God at work in things present. This leader was different from everyone else!

His pain and upset is leading him from placing too much confidence in people to confidence in God. When leaders place their confidence in Almighty God they will be equipped to lead people in ways that many people really want to be led.

Sandy Shaw

Sandy Shaw is Pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship, Chaplain at Inverness Prison, and Nairn Academy, and serves on The Children's Panel in Scotland, and has travelled extensively over these past years teaching, speaking, in America, Canada, South Africa, Australia, making 12 visits to Israel conducting Tours and Pilgrimages, and most recently in Uganda and Kenya, ministering at Pastors and Leaders Seminars, in the poor areas surrounding Kampala, Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.

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