01/10/Su – Lead Me in Your Righteousness

1 Chronicles 4:5-37; Acts 25:1-13; Psalms 5:7-12; Proverbs 3:1-6

Psalms: “But I enter your house by the abundance of your faithful love; I bow down toward your holy temple in reverential awe of you. Lord, lead me in your righteousness because of my adversaries; make your way straight before me. For there is nothing reliable in what they say; destruction is within them; their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongues. Punish them, God; let them fall by their own schemes. Drive them out because of their many crimes, for they rebel against you. But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them shout for joy forever. May you shelter them, and may those who love your name boast about you. For you, Lord, bless the righteous one; you surround him with favor like a shield.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭5:7-12‬ ‭CSB)

Psalm 5 is categorized as a lament psalm. Psalms of lament focus on expressing deep sorrow for personal or corporate travails and asking God for intervention. My pastor describes lament psalms in this way: lament psalms speak the truth to God and speak the truth about God. Lament psalms begin by honestly describing the discouraging and challenging situations that are being faced and honestly pouring out the feelings that are involved. But the psalms don’t stay in lament. After the truth is spoken to God, the psalmist always lifts his focus to God and ends the psalm in praise, hope, and expectation. This psalm is no different. In the first six verses, David laments to God, saying, “Lord, listen to me and consider my groans and sighs… pay attention as I cry out to You.” The timbre changes in verse 7. David stated earlier that the boastful could not stand in God’s presence – but then He says, “But I enter Your house by the abundance of Your faithful love; I bow down and worship You in reverential awe.” David was surrounded by boastful, arrogant, and treacherous people. He didn’t know who he could trust. He didn’t know who he could go to for sound advice. He was at a loss for what to do. (Sound familiar to the current state of the world?) But he knew that if he humbled himself in reverence to the Lord… if he placed his trust in the Lord’s goodness, faithful love and mercy, he could go to God. So in humility and complete dependence on God, David said, “Lead me in Your righteousness and make Your straight way abundantly clear to me. I can’t trust the voices of those who surround me, but I can trust in You.” David trusted that those who were motivated by their own gain and were manipulating others unto their own benefit would eventually fall by their own schemes… all the while knowing that those who took refuge in the Lord and lived according to His purposes and glory, would be protected and blessed.

It is challenging in these days to know who to trust – to know what news is true and what news is just spun propaganda and fear mongering. It is difficult to know who is being rational and who is being swept up in the vitriol of the day. It is ok to pour your heart and feelings out to the Lord. God doesn’t expect you to know everything and have everything figured out. He doesn’t want you to be ruggedly independent. He actually wants you to come to Him with your fears, your doubts, and your insecurities and pour them out honestly before Him. But don’t stay there. Remind yourself of Who God is. Humbly come before Him in all your not-knowing and ascribe to Him all that is true of Him. If you ask Him, he will lead you in righteousness. He will lead you on the straight path to truth. He will help you navigate around all the self-serving talk and fake news. He will lead you, surround you, protect you, and bless you. But you have to come and bow before Him instead of trying to will yourself through the mess and confusion on your own.

Proverbs: “My son, don’t forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commands; for they will bring you many days, a full life, and well-being. Never let loyalty and faithfulness leave you. Tie them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will find favor and high regard with God and people. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight.” (‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:1-6‬ ‭CSB)

View this passage from Proverbs as God the Father speaking to you, His beloved child. In all the instability and uncertainty that permeates the world right now, don’t forget My teaching and don’t forsake My commands. Don’t give your heart and your trust to the voices in the world, but remain loyal and faithful to Me, your loving Father. Don’t rely on your own understanding, for your understanding is extremely short-sighted and limited at best. Trust in Me with all your heart. Know Me… know my character, know my goodness, know my faithfulness, know my love – and let all your ways line up with Who I am. If you do that, I will work in you by My grace to will and do the things which are good, righteous, and pleasing to Me. I will lead you on the straight path to light and truth.

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