Saturday, July 27, 2013

The BAR is Set High

Have you ever heard someone say that their parents have "set the bar" too high?  Or maybe you've heard a teacher or professor say that they set the bar high for their students.

This expression originates from the sport of high jumping, as seen below (English Lesson):

Each time these athletes practice they set the bar higher and higher.  And in order to win you must have the bar set higher than your competition.

Now, King David is not our competition, but he set the example for us, and he set the bar high.

Psalm 25:16-18
16 Turn to me and be gracious to me,
For I am lonely and afflicted.
17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged;
Bring me out of my distresses.
18 Look upon my affliction and my trouble,
And forgive all my sins.

During times of trouble, David knew where to turn and what to do, he set an example for us that really raised the BAR.

We are to:

B - Believe that we are never alone.

In verse 16 David notes that he is lonely and afflicted.  We have all been there, troubles can be overwhelming (as noted in the following verse), you feel as if no one understands, no one truly cares, you are utterly alone.  But, "The soul that has awakened to the sense of the awful solitude of personal being, and stretched out yearning desires to the only God, and felt that with Him it would know no pain in loneliness, will not cry in vain" (Expositor's).  By believing that he was not alone, David was putting the outcome of his situation into the hands of God.  He was not counting on his servants or soldiers or family, he was depending on God (Henry).  You see, "genuine belief is a life-altering conviction" (Beth Moore, Praying God's Word).  Or as another author put it, "A belief, no matter how sincere, if not reflected in reality isn't a belief; it's a delusion" (Kyle Idleman, Not a Fan). David could have said he believed he was not alone, but until he acted on it, it meant nothing.  If you truly believe you are not alone, then you must act on it!  You must put your dependence completely on His shoulders! 

A - Acknowledge God's power.

Not only did David do this by believing that God had not left his side, but He also calls for the Lord to "turn to me...look upon my affliction" (16, 18).  He knew and was acknowledging the fact that "when Jehovah turns to a man, the light streaming from His face makes darkeness day.  The pains on which He looks are soothed; the enemies whom He beholds shrivel beneath His eye" (Expositor's).  David knew that a mere look from God would save him from his troubles, just a look!  What an acknowledgement of power!

R - Repent

This may be the most important piece of these three verses, David asks for forgiveness. We need to repent of our sins and ask for forgiveness because in order for us to approach the throne of God, in order for Him to be able to look upon us, our hearts must be in the right condition, without blemish and pure in His sight.  The word forgive in the Hebrew, nasa', means "to lift, bear up, carry, take" (Strong's H5375).  So when we repent and ask for forgiveness, God is taking and carrying our sins for us.  This Old Testament word was foreshadowing the significance of Christ.  When Christ died on that cross he took our sins, our shame.  Because of the cross, we don't have to carry our sin any longer.  Instead, Christ does it for us, so long as we repent.

The BAR is set high, but it is set for a reason.  The Word of God gives us the answers we need when faced with tough situations.  Here, David has shown us what to do when our troubles are overwhelming and it seems we have no place to turn - Believe, Acknowledge, Repent.  If you are in the midst of troubles or trials, I challenge you to put this example from David to the test.  Take a leap and see if you can jump over that high BAR...  :)


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