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Singing Psalm 21 for a place where you don’t have to hide

“Because the king trusts in the LORD    His confidence is sure;And through the love of Him Most High,    The king is kept secure.“ ~ Psalm 21:7

After he rose from the dead, the King of kings appeared to his frightened disciples letting them know they didn’t have to hide. Because he is risen and with them, they didn’t have to hide from God, from their enemies, or from themselves.

“Then [Jesus] said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,” ~ Luke 24:44-45

Because he is risen and continues to be with his people in his word and by his Spirit, you don’t have to hide.

Singing Psalm 21 for a place where you don’t have to hide from God

“Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.” Jesus was addressing those who were his followers. Those doing as they please and not following Jesus would want to hide from God if they misapply this command to satisfy their sinful appetites.

But you don’t have to hide from God when you are being transformed by the renewing of your mind to love what God loves and hate what God hates. He fully supplies your heart’s desires and grants your every request for your good and his glory as he gives you the mind of Christ aligning your thoughts with his. You trust his timing for when he brings that about.

You can be confident approaching his throne of grace when you know not to hide that you sin but rather are honest to confess it. Your confidence is in God’s grace and not in your own ideas. It stems from understanding both that Jesus continually cleanses you from your sins and that there is a good place for suffering with patience and endurance in the race the Lord has marked out for you as Job did:

“We are going to see the precious jewel of real worship in the midst of ugliness and venom. And as we see this precious jewel unveiled, we remember a later believer hanging naked outside the city wall, despised, rejected—and yet precious beyond compare…we shift our focus from these three comforters, so confident, so impressive—and so wrong. And we listen to Job in his laments, so pathetic, so poignant, so confused, so full of doubt—and so deeply right with God.” ~ Christopher Ash

You don’t have to hide from God when you don’t yet desire what he desires. He sometimes brings suffering and pain as with Job. Singing Psalm 21, you feel a sense of sadness that anyone would choose evil to the degree that it is a mercy to the world that their posterity would be wiped off the face of the earth. Yet even the god-fearing priest, Eli, in honoring his sons before God, would have his posterity never see old age except for one. Job’s comforters presumed that because Job’s children all died in the same catastrophe, that Job must have been evil, but of course, the jury was still out on that.

You don’t have to hide when difficulties come into your life that you would expect to come to only one who didn’t know or trust God. You can pour out your deepest emotions into God’s ears as Job did asking for clarity, repentance, deliverance, validation that God is for you and not against you, whatever it is you need. You see that Job’s patience was rewarded in spite of his friends’ indictments. That encourages you to persevere knowing God is with you in your suffering as you hold onto him and never stop communicating with him. God’s kindness shines through his rebukes that humble you and draw you ever closer to your redeemer.

And God does stop the suffering. He does put a stop to Leviathan. At just the right time, he will stop Satan and his minions. You eagerly wait and trust him to do just that even though along the way it might seem that his ears are deaf to your cries.

At other times, he gives your heart’s desire when that desire does not align with his in order to teach you to search out his ways when you find that you are not satisfied or happy with the consequences that result from disordered, selfish, sinful desires that lack both truth and love. When you pray double-mindedly or selfishly, be glad when those prayers are not answered but that God answers them better than you know to ask.

You might think that your life is pretty ordinary and you’re just trying to survive and get through it — nothing really too special about it. Although you’d rather go undercover from the Lord when you don’t understand that he is for you, you don’t have to hide your ordinariness from him:

“But just as it must have seemed quite inconceivable to Mary that God’s promises for centuries before were coming true in her, if we’re pinning our hopes on Jesus, however empty you or I might feel today, the truth is that we’re unimaginably full of life and love.” ~ Rebecca McLaughlin

The Lord has plans for you to reign with him and is working with you to prepare you, equip you, and make you ready for this incredible new role in the new world. Whatever you must endure to get ready, you don’t have to hide. You cry out to him in both joy and in sorrow, trusting that he will do something amazing as he translates your thoughts into actions that reach into his purposes to do good for many as good kings do.

“The king in Your great strength, O Lord,    Has joy abundantly;In Your salvation he delights    With joy exceedingly.What he desired within his heart    You fully have supplied;What he requested with his lips,    You never have denied.” ~ Psalm 21:1–2

Singing Psalm 21 for a place where you don’t have to hide from your enemies

Elijah was relying on God who brought the victory against hundreds of prophets of Baal. Then for fear of Jezebel’s threats, Elijah lapsed into relying on himself.

Yet it was Elijah who never passed through death, but was carried up to heaven with specially ordered chariots of fire, and she who persisted in exalting herself above others, even above God, died a most humiliating death.

I’m not so sure this makes a case for godly people having depression, as it makes a case more so for godly people needing the church.

Elijah felt like he was the only one following God. Having a sense of loss can be a very lonely thing. He needed to know that his brothers and sisters were at the same time undergoing the same kinds of suffering. He needed to know that God sees him and is with him in the suffering as in the victories, and that after he suffered a little while, the God of all grace would himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish him. Even though he didn’t know it, it was true nonetheless.

Jezebel stole his joy in the Lord, and with it, his strength. But the Lord proved to be his strength, nevertheless. He reassured him that there were thousands who did not bow the knee to Baal, baked him a cake over hot coals, provided water for him, and gave him rest. Then God provided the same food again before he went in the strength of that food from the Lord for 40 days and 40 nights as he traveled where God would have him go.

King Saul searched high and low for David to kill him, but could not find him. Yet Jonathan found David straightaway to help him find strength in the Lord as good friends do. You don’t have to hide from your enemies because the Lord is hiding you from your enemies except when he has in mind to do you good by placing you in their hands for a time.

Remember, Daniel and his three friends, Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael. Remember Joseph. Remember Job. Remember Elijah. Remember David.

No intended evil that was done to them succeeded to undo them. Those who are martyred will have the highest ranking and honor in the new world. God saw them through and will see them through. 

You don’t have to hide from your enemies because the Lord God sees you through and will continue to see you all the way through.

“Their evil plots will not succeed,     Nor schemes they have designed.” ~ Psalm 21:11

Singing Psalm 21 for a place where you don’t have to hide from yourself

Because you have been redeemed by the King of kings, the Lord Jesus Christ, your life is now filled with perfect protection. Although you can be killed, it’s only temporary. You will follow the Lord Jesus into eternal life, and there is nothing your enemies can do about it.

God also gives you rewards and honor but has elevated your soul to count others better than yourself, to be gentle and lowly in heart, hating whatever harshness and pride remain in you.

You don’t have to hide whenever you feel like you don’t measure up or when you are afraid of letting others down by not being more impressive. Your focus has shifted from wanting to impress, to looking for ways of being impressed by the Lord God and those who seek to imitate his ways.

You thank him for showing you that your joy does not come from your sense of well-being, your accomplishments, the things you have, or what other people think about you. You don’t have to hide from yourself in your weakness because your joy comes from knowing the Lord God, and that joy is your strength. And since the joy of knowing God is your strength, you ask yourself, would you please stop resisting it? Would you please stop seeking applause, trying to know other things and other people more than you seek to know God?

Whenever a crown is placed upon your head by the Lord, your heart is to lay it before the feet of your good shepherd, the Lord Jesus, the one who wore a crown of thorns to save you and to make you into a blessing to others, before the Father “placed upon his head a crown of purest gold.” 

You don’t have to hide your weakness to find rest for your soul. Rather, you openly embrace and exalt Jesus, singing his praises. You want nothing more than to get to serve your mighty servant King, to sit at his feet and learn from him who is gentle and lowly in heart. Your work is to learn to trust him.

“In Your almighty strength, O LORD,    Exalt Yourself on high;Then we will sing with psalms of praise,    Your power glorify.“ ~ Psalm 21:13

September 22-29, 2023


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