Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.
2 For thou art the God of my strength: why dost thou cast me off? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
3 O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.
4 Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God.
5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
I don't know who wrote this psalm but it is so honest... you can feel the author's struggle. You can kind of see a timeline here.
- There is an ungodly nation; a deceitful and unjust man (verse 1). The author considers this man to be his enemy and oppressor (verse 2).
- The author is feeling so discouraged, probably from interactions with this man. He feels like he needs delivery from this situation (verse 1) - he can't do it by himself. He is mourning (verse 2). His entire soul feels cast down and the author even feels like his soul is trouble... unsettled inside of him (verse 5).
- So the author turns to God. I don't know if this man was accused of things or what was going on in his life, but he begs God to judge him and plead his case to everyone. The word for "judge" here in verse 1 means to vindicate, or clear from any wrong doing. He's begging God to be his lawyer, basically, as well as the judge, because God knows his innocence in this matter. When God judges him in this way it will deliver him (verse 1).
The author does feel as though maybe God has left him or cast him off (verse 2), but the author still knows and stands firm on the fact that God is his strength. The author tells God to send out His light and truth (when the light comes, nothing can be hidden and all lies will come out), and the author decides to let truth be his guide (verse 3).
The author proclaims that God is his joy (verse 4) and he can't help but praise God with music. Even though inside he feels so discouraged, he knows his soul can have hope in God (verse 5) and has assurance that God is in control of the victory in the author's life. He is going to praise God. To me, for some reason, the way this is worded makes me think he is going to praise God even before all these prayers are answered. We should believe in our prayers and God's mightiness so much that we praise Him even before our prayer is answered. That is tough.
What fantastic characteristics of God we find in these verses:
A judge, our deliverer, my strength, light, truth, my joy, my hope, my health.
On another note, my friend Meagan sent me a text this morning to go along with a Bible study she's doing. She said that today's theme is becoming God's vision. The scripture is Romans 12:1 which says "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service." We have to daily sacrifice our body and our mind to God. Our wants and desires. We have to ultimately try to figure out what He wants for our lives. Not what makes us happy or what we think He wants for us. He will always guide us down the right path if we will be patient and pray about it. But we have to be in the right mindset for that, and that means making sacrifices physically and mentally. Physically - we have to take care of ourselves. Not that we have to be bodybuilders or anything like that, but when we are physically healthy we can do more for the cause of Christ. I totally understand there are physical things that happen to us that are beyond our control - I am not talking about that at all. And mentally - we have to be on guard. What is going into our minds? We must filter that stuff. There is too much junk in our society right now. We can't just let everything into our heads or it will begin to grow in our hearts, and replace the things of God. So we must sacrifice. We might have to sacrifice cigarettes, or a relationship, or just a TV show. But it is a reasonable service that we do that. It's logical and it's the least we can do for Him.