On Falling Into a Pit (Psalm 7)

Psalm 7

A shiggayon of David, which he sang to the Lord about Cush, a Benjaminite.

7 I take refuge in you, Lord, my God. Save me from all who chase me!
    Rescue me!
Otherwise, they will rip me apart, dragging me off with no chance of rescue.
Lord, my God, if I have done this—if my hands have done anything wrong,
4 if I have repaid a friend with evil or oppressed a foe for no reason—
5 then let my enemy not only chase but catch me, trampling my life into the ground, laying my reputation in the dirt. Selah
Get up, Lord; get angry! Stand up against the fury of my foes!
Wake up, my God; you command that justice be done!
Let the assembled peoples surround you. Rule them from on high!
The Lord will judge the peoples. Establish justice for me, Lord according to my righteousness and according to my integrity.
Please let the evil of the wicked be over, but set the righteous firmly in place because you, the righteous God, are the one who examines hearts and minds.

10 God is my shield; he saves those whose heart is right.
11 God is a righteous judge, a God who is angry at evil every single day.
12 If someone doesn’t change their ways, God will sharpen his sword,
    will bend his bow, will string an arrow.
13 God has deadly weapons in store for those who won’t change; he gets his flaming arrows ready!

14 But look how the wicked hatch evil, conceive trouble, give birth to lies!
15 They make a pit, dig it all out, and then fall right into the hole that they’ve made!
16 The trouble they cause will come back on their own heads; the violence they commit will come down on their own skulls.
17 But I will thank the Lord for his righteousness; I will sing praises to the name of the Lord Most High (Psalm 7:1-17, Common English Bible).

A few days ago, I was wandering the internet. Because most days I read a sermon someone else wrote, I am always scrounging around on sermon/preacher websites in an effort to find someone’s work I had not read before. The particular day in question I did not find a new sermon source to read. What I did find was a story, a parable, if you will. I had seen it before but I needed to see it again to refresh my memory. I present it below. I hope it speaks to you as it has many times to me.

A man fell into a pit and couldn’t get himself out.
A SUBJECTIVE person came along and said: “I FEEL for you, down there.”
An OBJECTIVE person came along and said:” It’s logical that someone would fall, down there.”
A CHRISTIAN SCIENTIST came along: “You only THINK that you are in a pit.”
A PHARISEE said: “Only BAD people fall into a pit.”
A MATHEMATICIAN calculated HOW he fell into the pit.
A NEWS REPORTER wanted the exclusive story on his pit.
A FUNDAMENTALIST said: “You DESERVE your pit.”
CONFUCIUS said; “If you would have listened to me, you would not be in that pit.”
said: “Your pit is only a state of mind.”
A REALIST said: “That’s a PIT.”
A SCIENTIST calculated the pressure necessary (lbs./sq.in.) to get him out of the pit.
A GEOLOGIST told him to appreciate the rock strata in the pit.
The COUNTY INSPECTOR asked if he had a permit to dig a pit.
The COUNTY TAX ASSESSOR came along and figured the taxes he owed on the pit.
A PROFESSOR gave him a lecture on: “The Elementary Principles of the Pit.”
 A HEALTH AND WEALTH PREACHER said: “Just CONFESS that you’re not in a pit.”
An OPTIMIST said: “Things COULD be worse.”
A PESSIMIST said: “Things WILL get worse!!”

JESUS, seeing the man, took him by the hand and LIFTED HIM OUT of the pit.

Falling and unable to get up is a scary thing to deal with, whoever you are. Several years back, Cindy and I were going to get more exercise so we bought a couple of bicycles. The next day we rode our new bikes. The ride wasn’t long, less than a mile. When we got back home, I rode my bike into the grass. My thighs were killing me. When I go off the bike, my legs collapsed in the front yard and I went down.

I wasn’t hurt. OK, I guess my pride was hurt a bit. But it got worse. I couldn’t get up. It took about 30 minutes for me to be rested enough to actually get back to my feet. I went from angry with myself for not maintaining my footing and staying up. Then I was even more upset with myself for allowing myself o get so out of shape to begin with. Truth to tell, I was probably more upset because of my lack of self-discipline and the poor physical condition I was in that day. By the time I was able to get back on my feet I laughing at myself.

For many people, me included, falling is a very real concern. When you have a chronic ear issue, your balance and staying on your feet become real issues for you. I have always managed to get back up but there are those, who when they fall, have really difficult time.

David would have known about falling into the pit pretty well. He would have known the story of Joseph’s (Joseph in Genesis 37, not Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father from Matthew’s gospel) brothers capturing him, then taking him and throwing him in a pit from which he couldn’t escape, followed up closely by being sold into slavery. All of which, as told by Joseph himself, God intended for good.

Still, who really wants to go through something like that. I think if we could interview Joseph about what happened, and he is honest about it, laying in the bottom of the pit, he was probably frightened. He probably did some praying while he was down there too. The one thing he knew was, he wasn’t getting out of that pit without some help of some kind.

For his part, David doesn’t see himself falling into a pit dug by his own hand. He doesn’t see himself as the one who falls into the pit at all. He knows the ones in the bottom of the pit will be his enemies.

David had a clear but unique understanding that, if you make trouble for long enough, that trouble is going to come back to haunt you. If you continue reading from Genesis 37 and following, we can quickly see that is what happened to Joseph’s brothers. Famine struck and Joseph’s brothers and their families were in real danger of losing everything. Coming to see David, they didn’t know who he was.

Joseph did recognize them. After he put them through some trouble along the way, Joseph saves his family, including the brothers that treated him badly. God saw Joseph out of the pit. His brothers didn’t suffer at this hand though they had to wonder at times. Real vengeance was not something Joseph intended to do.

There is a word for that. That word is grace. God poured grace out on Joseph, even when he had fallen into a pit (don’t forget, he isn’t exactly innocent in all this) God rescued him. Even when he was in the service of Potifer, God saved him. From prison, God saved him.

It was grace, upon grace, upon grace. We will all find ourselves in the pit at times. Praise be to God that there is grace.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Seeking the Genuine,

Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Permission is granted to use this material for non-commercial purposes with proper citation.


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