Posted by: arieliondotcom | October 11, 2013

The High Tide of Hope (Psalm 42-43)

The High Tide of Hope (Psalms 42-43)

They say that the human body is composed mostly of water. Some say as much 72% at some stages of life. It is no wonder, then, that our emotions are like the tide. With the various hormones, chemical reactions and influences of life, we can be on an emotional high one minute and crashing down the next moment, like the tides of the ocean.

Psalms 42-43 are really one psalm about being a Believer at low tide. Jewish tradition says it was written by the sons of Korah who caused a rebellion against Moses in Numbers 26. When Korah and others tried to offer incense against the way GOD told them to do it through Moses and Aaron, the earth opened up and Korah and the others who rebelled with him were swallowed up by the earth. But his children survived. And it was on that day, Jewish tradition says, this song of solemn mourning or meditation (maskil) was written.

But it doesn’t take divine judgment to make us feel as if we’ve fallen into a pit of drought when we had once been surfing at high tide. It is all connected to losing perspective and hope.

Feeling this way is a sign that there’s a problem in our relationship with GOD. Those of the more emotional denominations are especially vulnerable. It is a huge mistake to think your emotions show the condition of your relationship with GOD. They don’t. GOD has saved us and the realization of the suffering JESUS went through for us to do that should break our hearts and make us want His new Life and to use the rest of our lives loving Him in service to others in His Name. But it doesn’t mean we will always feel emotionally happy. JESUS Himself wept, got angry, even outraged, and was a “man of sorrows well acquainted with grief.” And that was without the sin that you and I have swishing around in our souls.

Christians get cranky, too. In this psalm the Believers of that day, looking forward to the Messiah we know as JESUS compared themselves to a certain kind of deer in Israel that lets out a terrible bleating in trouble. They’re like one of these deer dying of thirst, their tongues swollen crying out to GOD for refreshment.

Their soul thirsts for GOD like that. Anyone who has ever been in love knows this feeling. Your emotional longing for the relationship you once had causes a physical aching to have that level of relationship again.

Notice that in the drought around them the writers are drinking their own tears. And the cause is that they are listening to those who say “Where is your God?”

Most seminary students call seminary “cemetary” because whether from good motives or bad most seminary professors today teach what those who doubt the Bible say. It’s easy to say you believe in GOD but why? Peter and Paul both say that Christians should always be able to give a reason why we believe. Where is your GOD? If you’re a Christian He is in Heaven with pierced hands from the sacrifice of His own Life for yours. He is in your heart after you confess you couldn’t live life on your own and needed to be born again with Him in control. He is controlling every circumstance even in ways we can’t understand because He is GOD and we are not.

The writers are now having a talk, so to speak, between their head and their heart. Their head is telling their heart stop trusting in your emotion and remember what GOD has done. Remember why you were on that emotional high was the work of GOD you were praising Him for. Remember what GOD has done. Worship GOD not the emotions.

Many of us judge a church service based on how emotionally high we feel from the music or inspired we feel from the preaching. But our focus should be on the LORD we are worshipping and the joy of being able to publicly meet with others who love Him as well. We worship GOD and the fact that He has changed not only our lives but most of the crowd we worship with. He is real and He really acts on behalf of individuals. Millions of them.

Drop by drop the head reminds the heart not to be emotionally down. We have GOD’s acts of Salvation to buoy us up. We were on the sea floor, emotionally drained. And in that condition each wave seems like another act against us by GOD and knocks us down. But when we focus on what GOD says and has done and not how we feel we float upward.

We start to see God’s goodness every day. And at night we can pray and talk with Him and have His company. We are never alone. As we pray we can talk to Him and ask Him “Where are you?” We can tell Him about those who say “Where is your God?”

Our head can tell our heart not to listen to our emotions. But remember Who God is. Remember what He has done. That’s why we have the Bible. He has blessed generation upon generation with His goodness. He has acted in your life with blessing after blessing. When you are rested and refreshed physically and emotionally you will again ride the high tide of Hope.

Those who don’t have new life in Christ have only their emotions. And those emotions and what caused them will dry up at death and burn in the fires of hell.

But those with the salvation of JESUS have the rock of reality of what He has done. They are carried on the high tide of expectancy for the fulfillment of eternal Life as they act in His Name. And they live not in emotion but in praise that our Hope is the reality of JESUS not our emotions.


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