“He made a pit and dug it out,
And has fallen into the ditch which he made.”
If we were writing a comedic screenplay, we might want to include a character who designs an elaborate trap, only to unwittingly catch himself. While it might be quite humorous on the big screen, it is tragic in the real world. The psalmist reminds us, one of the consequences of wicked living is, in the long run, we are actually setting a trap for ourselves. The day is coming when the cage will swing shut, and we will find ourselves enslaved by the very thing we were toying with. This happened to Samson who fooled around with Delilah, telling her to braid his hair or tie him up with new ropes. As time went on, he found himself enslaved to the Philistines. It happened to David, who fooled around with Bathsheba, first watching her bath then flirting with her. He soon found himself enslaved by his lust and caught in an ungodly relationship that had devastating effects upon his family. And it will happen to us, if we toy around with sin. Each time we dabble in unrighteous behavior, it is like putting the shovel in the ground. Day after day, the hole gets bigger until one day we find ourselves caught in a trap we dug for ourselves.
Fortunately, this does not have to be our end. If we have not yet been enslaved, there is still time to turn from our sin, and allow the Lord to restore us to Himself. While it may have taken a long time to drift from the Lord, we can be restored in a moment of time. We simply need to confess our sin, turn from it, and to Him. When we do, He will begin to fill the hole so we don’t become ensnared in it. But what if you are in the trap? Understand, there is still hope for you. No matter how far you have fallen, the arms of God are long enough to reach you. Cry out to Him to forgiveness and to deliverance . David wrote about how God brought him out of a pit, set his feet upon a rock, and even put a new song of praise in his mouth.
“Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are troubled.”
Have you ever heard the phrase, “You can do this,” as a mantra for finding the strength to face the challenge before you? Life often forces us to be stronger than we think we are and to stand up to the opportunity before us. In a passionate plea for the Corinthians to stand against the opposition they were facing, Paul declared,
1 Corinthians 16:13 “Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.”
While there are times when we must be strong, there are also times when we must realize our weakness. There are times when coming to grips with the fact that we are weak, is the very thing that will ensure we find victory. Image having to move a heavy item. We think we are strong enough, and dig deep within to muster all we have, yet the item still remains in its current location, unaffected by our efforts. On the other hand, if we realize our weakness and invite a few friends to help us, we find the object moved without too much work or injury.
As a believer, it is critical that we realize our weakness and learn to look to the Lord for strength. Those who have done so have accomplished feats well beyond themselves. It was not the military strategy of Joshua that brought down Jericho’s walls, nor was it the accuracy of David’s sling that topped the giant. These men, and others like them, were victorious because they realized their own weakness and learned to look to the Lord for strength.
Whatever you are facing today the supply of the Spirit of Christ Jesus is enough for the challenge. Like the psalmist, go to the Lord confessing your weakness and ask Him to provide you with His strength.
- David was a great man in many ways. We know him to be a triumphant soldier, a fair and honest king, and a man of worship. That being said, David knew himself to be weak and in need of Jesus. Notice how he cries out to the Lord as this psalm begins.
- Verse 5 can be confusing. David is not giving a doctrinal message on the afterlife, he is speaking about the reality that if he dies he will cease to write and sing praises in his earthly body.
- Describe David’s condition as the psalm progresses.
- Although struggling, what does David have confidence the Lord will do?
“Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance,
And the ends of the earth for Your possession.“
As we reach the end of ourselves and cry out in desperation to God, prayer is the place where we express our greatest desires. We have found ourselves on our knees pleading with God for direction, the healing of a loved one, or to fix a mess we have created through our own foolishness. I wonder though, when is the last time we pleaded with God for those who don’t yet know Him.
The great promise of the Gospel is that it knows no borders. Every man, woman and child can have their sins forgiven, and enter into a personal relationship with God, through Christ. We can participate in that through the ministry of prayer.
Take a moment to make a list of a few people that don’t yet know the Lord and begin to pray for them daily. Add to that list an area in the world where your church is involved in ministry, and pray for the furtherance of the Gospel there. Perhaps the Lord may even send you, some day, to assist in the work.
- According to verses 1-2, what is the “Vain thing” that the nations of the earth are attempting to do?
- How does God react to those who are attempting to live apart from His authority?
- What has the Father given to His Son?
- Knowing the great majesty and authority of God what should our response be to Him? Look carefully at verse 11-12.
- According to verse 12, what kind of life will those who trust the Lord have? Does that describe your life? Are you trusting in the Lord? True trust shows itself in obedience to His Word.