o you I call, O LORD my Rock; do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you remain silent, I will be like those who have gone down to the pit. Hear my cry for mercy as I call to you for help, as I lift up my hands toward your Most Holy Place. Do not drag me away with the wicked, with those who do evil, who speak cordially with their neighbors but harbor malice in their hearts. Repay them for their deeds and for their evil work; repay them for what their hands have done and bring back upon them what they deserve. Since they show no regard for the works of the LORD and what his hands have done, he will tear them down and never build them up again. Praise be to the LORD, for he has heard my cry for mercy. The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one. Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever. NIV
As I read this verse today in relationship to Oswald Chamber’s devotion from August fourth I noticed that the Psalmist does not claim to have done anything great in these verses. This point was also made in Oswald Chamber’s devotion from August 4th in that it is out of our poverty that God uses us for His purpose. As I read this devotion I thought back to II Timothy 2:20-22 “Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some unto honor, and some unto dishonor. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, meet for the master’s use, prepared unto every good work. After righteousness, faith, love, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart”. So as a believer we must present ourselves as a clean vessel for the master’s use. Remember a vessel is empty, it is God that fills and uses the vessel. All we must provide for God to use us for his purpose is a vessel of honor. People who know not God who plot evil in their heart and show no regard for the things of God might not see the true believer as a vessel of God, but God does. My prayer is for anyone that reads Psalms twenty-eight to see that the way of the wicked (see Psalms one) is the wrong path to travel. The right path is for those who call on God out of a pure heart.
As I study this psalm today the phase found in verse one “For if you remain silent, I will be like those who have gone down to the pit” revealed how strong my relationship with God must be. I searched and realized this is the first psalm that uses the word pit to refer to the grave. Without God in our life we are dead. If you jump over to Psalm 88 you will read a psalm that is probably one of the hardest psalms to understand. The reason is that we look for hope when we read the Psalms. There is no hope in Psalm 88. This psalm ends with the verse “you have taken my companions and loved ones from me; the darkness is my closest friend. This I believe was the psalmist greatest fear in his life, a life without God. Yet how many people do we meet daily who are living in the pit and living the life-style of the wicked. Verses three and five sums up the characteristic of the wicked “those who do evil, who speak cordially with their neighbors but harbor malice in their hearts, they show no regard for the works of the Lord”, Study the makeup of the pit as the Lord gives it in Luke 16:19-27 and as I believe Psalms 88 portrays it. Yes there is a hell (the pit where God’s presence cannot be found) as well as a heaven (where the dwelling of God is with men). The choose of your final resting place depends your answer to one question. What will you think of Christ?
As I study this psalm I noticed that verse three starts out with the phase “Do not drag me away with the wicked with those who do evil” and verse seven ends with the phrase “he has heard my cry for mercy”. This is the message of the gospel. We are all guilty before God, but he does extends to us mercy. As I read Oswald Chambers devotional for November 5 he brings out the role of Jesus in our life. He illustrated how Mary believed that Jesus had a special intimacy with God, and that whatever He asked of God, God would do. However, he brought out the point that Mary realized that she needed a closer personal intimacy with Jesus. In verse two we see that this is also what David wanted. His desire was to have a closer personal intimacy to God. This Psalm contains the gospel message of God. We are all guilty before God, however God does extends his mercy to us. Once this happens we are changed and see the old wicked way in which we walked for what it was and turn from that way. We then find our strength in the Lord and our desire than focus on become more like God.