August 10, 2016

Psalm 140:6 O Lord, I say to you, “You are my God.”
Hear, O Lord, my cry for mercy.

The organization of the book of Psalms is interesting. It is obviously made up of several different collections, with David’s name appearing frequently in some and much less so in others, with some Psalms even being from after the Babylonian exile. They certainly aren’t arranged chronologically. Psalms by David appear again in this very last section, and they continue to flesh out the picture we have of him. We know very little of his physical appearance, except that he was considered reasonably good-looking but wasn’t exceptionally tall the way Saul was. However, we’re given a lot of information as to what he was like as a person, from the narrative of his life and from his own writing. In this Psalm we do not see him as particularly kind and forgiving toward his enemies, but in this verse we again get confirmation of one of his major distinctives: he was committed to Yahweh alone, and had no use for idolatry. That makes it all the more ironic and sad that his son Solomon was pulled off in that direction by his foreign wives. In Western countries open idolatry hasn’t been an issue for a long time, though in America it is making a comeback, specifically in open Satan worship. That comeback has been enabled by people making idols of all sorts of things, without the trappings of religion. It is no accident that popular entertainers are referred to as idols. We would do well to reaffirm in our own hearts and minds just who it is we worship, and why. Far too many worship finances, or physical comfort, or sexual pleasure, or any of a number of things. When we pray we need to be able to say, “Lord, You are my God,” and mean it.

Ministering in Japan I have battled a polytheistic mindset from the outset. I find many people like what they hear of Jesus, so they want to add Him to their god shelf along with all their other gods. Raised as I was, I don’t really know how to counter that well, without totally rejecting the person and their genuine interest in Jesus. The more I read the Bible the more clearly I understand that a lot of the people in it weren’t the strict monotheists we imagine. As committed to Yahweh as he was, David probably didn’t discount the gods of the nations around him; he just thought his God was bigger, stronger, and better all the way around. That was what laid the groundwork for Solomon’s “tolerance” for other gods that led to his downfall. I’ve got to speak the truth in love, never compromising the full truth of the Gospel but not rejecting those who aren’t there yet. I don’t have the wisdom necessary to do that, so I’ve got to rely on the Holy Spirit to do it in and through me. A very small percentage of Japanese are Christian in name, but the Lord knows how many of those are really His, as well as those who don’t bear the name but who still choose Christ over what they see as all their other options. I’ve got to walk in personal devotion and purity and let the Lord use me however He chooses to bring in the harvest that He desires, for His glory.

Father, we are daily reminded of how You are drawing people to Yourself through us, yet we see so few come to the point of repentance and commitment that we desire for them. I ask that You pour Your Spirit out on this city, this nation, to tear down the lies that have bound so many for so long. Many before me have prayed this, but we don’t see the fulfillment yet. I pray that the day would be soon, for a mighty ingathering of people into Your kingdom, Your family, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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