Your Hand to Us Display (Psalm 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,
        if I have repaid a friend with evil
        or oppressed a foe for no reason—
    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;[b]
    you command that justice be done!
Let the assembled peoples surround you.
    Rule them from on high![c]
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[d] 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, Common English Bible)

Your Hand to Us Display

A poem based on Psalm 7 by Keith Broyles

Lord, what did I do wrong?
Those who accuse me lie.
They believe they stand strong.
You and truth, they defy.

Scream and shout, blame, blame, blame,
Their fingers point to me.
Lord you know me, my name.
You are truth, help me see.

O God, you know my heart.
You know me, your servant.
You have blessed from my start.
Blameless, I am fervent.

Show my accusers their err.
Teach them truth, show them love.
I am wronged, I shall be fair.
I will show and rise above.

May they see their error.
Let the ground not collapse.
Allow not hands of terror.
Bring no pit in earth’s gaps.

May we show love to you.
From faithful hearts today.
Joy, grace, and praise be true.
Your hand, to us, display.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Seeking the Genuine,
Keith

Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Permission is given to use this material for non-commercial purposes.

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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.”
BUDDHA
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,
Keith

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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A Shiggaion (Psalm 7)

Psalm 7

A shiggaion 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,
if I have repaid a friend with evil
or oppressed a foe for no reason—
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.

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

But look how the wicked hatch evil,
conceive trouble, give birth to lies!
They make a pit, dig it all out,
and then fall right into the hole that they’ve made!
The trouble they caus
will come back on their own heads
the violence they commit
will come down on their own skulls.
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)

One day last school year, I had finished the lesson in government class for that day. I gave the students an assignment. I went to my desk to do some other work. I don’t remember what I was doing but lesson plans or grading papers would be a good assumption.

Tonya (not her real name) came to my desk and asked me, “What does bicameral mean?” I pointed to a corner of my desk. There was a dictionary laying there so I said, “Get the dictionary and look it up.”

“Dr. B. please just tell me,” she asked.

“No, Tonya,” I replied. “You need to learn how to do these things yourself.

“I don’t want to know that bad,” she said. She then started going back to her seat.

“No Tonya. Come back and look it up,” I told her. She then did a stereotypical pout and stomp back to my desk and jerked the book up and started looking the word up. “You can get an attitude if you want, but you are going to learn the meaning of that work and if you find it, especially now, you will always remember it.”

She goes through the dictionary. She is in the right general place. She frustrated and then looks back at me and says, “Bi-camel isn’t in this dictionary.” She has a huge smile on her face. She thought she had gotten the best of me.

“Tonya, the word is bicameral, not by bi-camel. You need to look up the correct word.”

She finally found it. I asked her what it meant. “Two houses,” she replied.

“And what does that have to do with government? I asked her. I

“I don’t know.”

Then I made her pull one of the government text books from the shelf and look it up in that book. There she learned it meant a two house legislative body.

I can’t say that Tonya would remember what the term means today but I do know that she remembered it for her next test and more importantly, she remembered for the final exam.

So, what does Shiggaion mean? I wish I could tell you. I didn’t really expect that Mr. Webster would be able to tell me, but I had a dictionary handy so I looked it up. This time, Tonya would have been right. It wasn’t in there.

Still, I didn’t find it particularly surprising when it wasn’t there. It is a Hebrew word, not in English. I was thinking this might be cone of those times when it is difficult to translate a work because we have no English word that actually mean the same thing. So, there is no way to perfectly translate it.

I went on to my one volume Bible dictionary to a multi-volume Bible dictionary and, while I found the word, I also found that there is no clear consensus to the word’s meaning.

Some scholars believe it to be some kind of prayer service. Something with prayer was most common. Others believe it to be some kind of worship. One person even said, it was a multi-headed monster sent by God to attack David. Another agreed with the monster theory but God wasn’t sending the monster after David, God was sending the monster after Cush, a man from the tribe of Benjamin, also mentioned in that heading.

I would agree with those who believed Shiggaion to be some kind of act of worship. I base that on a little logic. The psalm itself is an act of worship. The heading says, “A Shiggaion of David…” These headings are an instruction to the meaning of the psalm itself or instructions to the leader. The word is obviously a form of explanation of the psalm.

It does seem clear to me, that there will always be things we don’t understand. We do our best to research and find an answer but we also need to be honest with ourselves. We will never know all the meanings or everything we read or encounter, so I believe we do the best we can, then we move on. There is little else we can do. Some things are not meant for we finite humans to know and understand. I believe this might be one.

By the way, the meaning of the word, is not clear. This word is mentioned one time in all the Bible, right here. What scholars believed to be the plural of the word gets a mention in Habakkuk 3:4, “shigionoth.” And, what does Habakkuk 3:4 say?

I hope you have had a blessed day in the Lord.

Seeking the Genuine,
Keith

Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved
Permission is granted for this posts use for non-commercial purposes.

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