It is extremely important to understand how rapidly just one piece of information can dominate your contemplation. Oh yes! we can attach ourselves to one data point,we can cling to one very accurate piece of evidence, we often clutch a singular inspiring portion of knowledge that can forcefully drive a swift conclusion. This was one reason why David prayed for God`s guidance. At the very beginning , we`re given a glimpse into what David was thinking and how he felt while seeking direction from the LORD. Observe: Psalm 25:1- 2 " Unto thee Oh LORD do I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in thee, let me not be ashamed, let not my enemies triumph over me." The obvious sense of urgency is only edged out by his unwavering trust in Almighty God. Oh how wise it is to seek direction from the Omniscient One!
When he prays "Let me not be ashamed..." its significance points to the core value of shame. Core beliefs are very powerful. The best definition I`ve found of core beliefs is as follows: "Core beliefs are strongly-held, rigid, inflexible beliefs that are maintained by the tendency to focus on information that supports the belief and ignoring evidence that contradicts it. Core beliefs define how we see ourselves; view others, the world, and our future." I`m strongly convinced that this truth is relative to the fervency David expressed when he cried out this way: "Unto thee Oh LORD do I lift up my soul..." The human soul is where we have self-consciousness. The mind is one of the aspects which by nature associates with the soul. And so, its function comes forth from out of the soul. It is the minds assignment to organize and interpret the information which has been converted from the five senses. The mind is guided by personal knowledge and experience.
And so, because personal knowledge, experience and such, run deep they become the very strong influential core beliefs, values and reference points; which we lean on. Know this: these influential forces play a significant role in behavior and are deeply rooted within the soul. Moreover, because most of us operate subjectively on consistent bases we truly need to understand more about the interactions within the human soul.
You see, various aspects of humanness have protective elements built in or develop over time in order to help us preserve, sustain, or survive. These protective elements kick in instinctively whenever a particular aspect of human capability is threatened. David knew howbeit unjustified, how his enemies desperately wanted to humiliate him publicly. Without cause they relentlessly ridiculed him, despite being fully aware that David was known far and wide for being a man after God`s own heart. Subsequently, David felt threatened. Oh yes! his protective elements instinctively kicked in.
i Samuel 17:-34-36 records how David tells the king how he(as a youngster) killed a bear and a lion with his bare hands,. David told the king this assuring the king that he would defeat the Philistine giant Goliath. Then David not only defeated Goliath, he beheaded Goliath! 1 Chronicles 18:1-6 records the hostile nations: Philistines, Moabites, Edomites, and Syrians were all defeated because the LORD helped David wherever he went. In short: David was a magnificent warrior. You see, whenever viable threats are repeatedly launched at a "battle-tested" warrior the warrior does not think about not hurting the assailant. The warrior thinks about incapacitating his enemies while protecting himself. When warriors instinctively sense being backed into a corner they become deadlier than the enemy he or she is facing.
This too, points to why David lifts his soul up to the LORD. In other words, by lifting up his soul to the Lord, David was saying Oh LORD I know you can see my thoughts. I know you know how I can see myself strangling my enemies somewhat like the way I killed that lion with my bare hands. Oh my God the mental image is vividly clear; I see myself choking each and every one of them to death the same way I did that bear! Lord I know you know how I feel. (Psalm 139:22}
Then, even more light was shed (Psalm 25:3) when he prayed, "Yea let none that wait on thee be ashamed." Here, we see him not only praying for himself, but he also began interceding for all true believers. It`s important to note that in the bible people are dyadic. (Pilch & Malina) "This means that individuals basically depend on others for their sense of identity, for their understanding of their role and status in society, for clues to the duties and rights they have, and for indications of what is honorable and shameful behavior. Such people live in a world which is clearly and extensively ordered, a system which is well known to members of the group. Individuals quickly internalize this system and depend on it for needed clues to the way their world works. The group whether it be clan, village, family, etc., communicates what is expected and proper, and individuals respond accordingly. Individual people are not known or valued because of their uniqueness, but in terms of their tribe, clan, family, etc,. Dyadism, therefore, is a means value by which one`s honor can be continually checked, affirmed, or challenged. And individual people would describe themselves in this way, as a servant of God, as a priest of God`s temple, and as a centurion of this Italian cohort." Again, this is important because it reveals how such people tend to think that there is a place for everyone and everyone is in his place. The source of this system is God.
DEALT TREACHEROUSLY WITH
Keep the above in mind as we get back to David interceding for all that wait for God. He prayed that no one who faithfully waits for God be overcome by the power of sin. That those possessing an authentic relationship with the HOLY ONE not yield to the succulent bait of the evil one. David`s fervency points to the power of influence.
Honor and shame are core values in the Mediterranean as well as in the bible. To have honor is to have publicly acknowledged worth. Shame is the opposite of honor. For a man, "to lose honor" is "to be shamed". Being shamed involves a loss of repute and worth in the eyes of others, especially of one`s peers. It results from a public exposure of a man`s weakness or cowardice or being a fake or foolish man. In essence, honor is the highest value, while public humiliation is a fate worse than death.
If David would have focused on how he felt about losing honor, and/or clung to what he KNEW about the diabolically crafted motives of his enemies he would have been swiftly driven down the wrong path. Moreover, It`s not difficult to understand how a trusted friend, who recently, and ever so shocking, began to repeatedly ridicule you unjustifiably publicly, can shove you in the wrong direction. Psychologically, betrayal is what it is: a brutally painful test of fire. This is expressed In the context of his prayer when David employs the following adjective. Psalm 25:3 " Let them be ashamed which "transgress" without cause.". The adjective "Transgress" in the Hebrew is translated "dealt treacherously". Prayerfully consider the following synonyms for treacherous: To be deceitful, to double-cross, to be two-faced, traitorous, undependable, disloyal. To stir-up trouble.
Let`s think, once more of David as a warrior being betrayed by someone who was close enough to him to know a lot about David`s strengths and weaknesses and his likes and dislikes. Keep in mind that the betrayer is someone who like David had internalized the dyadic system. My point is that there were some who had been specifically interacting very closely with David that deliberately decided to double-cross David. Then, they relentlessly proceeded to ridicule him unjustly publicly. To add insult too injury, they did so with crystal clear understanding that there treacherous conduct would not only effect David. You see, by there actions they were simultaneously attempting to humiliate David`s family, which, in turn, would compel his tribe to banish David for alleged misconduct, and by extension dishonor the very God David`s people served. Oh yes! the traitorous know how to push all the right buttons! Make no mistake: to deal treacherously means that those doing so have a tremendous advantage that enables them to stir-up trouble against you unlike any other enemy!
Psalms 55:12-14 "It was not an enemy who taunted me-then i could have borne it; I could have hidden and escaped. But it was you, a man like myself, my companion, and my friend. What fellowship we had, what wonderful discussions as we walked together to the temple of the Lord on holy days. In this context, it`s important to note that David is not physically confronting the betrayer, David is looking back and when he says, "But it was you..." a mental image of the treacherous man has taken center stage in David`s mind. The mental picture is vividly clear,so much so, that it shoves David beyond agitation into a dark place where
he grimaced inwardly.
Its significant to understand that whenever we humans are shoved into this dark place that the "Prince of Darkness" will be moving simultaneously in the spirit realm. Make no mistake I`m referring to the devil. He is a relentlessly evil opportunistic foe who always seeks to exploit chances offered by immediate circumstances and situations. When I say he will be moving simultaneously describes the speed and subtlety whereby his presence will blend in with whatever his " would-be victim" is contemplating. In this particular case, it means that the evil one will inject "revenge-filled" suggestions that smoothly blend in with David`s own thoughts. The way that they merge seemingly guarantees sweet revenge because what the devil has in mind and what David has in mind will compliment each other like peanut butter and jelly! Oh yeah! when the treacherous man`s mental picture pops-up in David`s mind, is when the devil pops-up on the scene. Get this: It does not matter if we enter willingly, or if we are shoved into this dark place by situations or circumstances, either way, upon arrival, we will be met by dark influential forces.
Revenge is one of the deepest instincts we have, and the emotions that fuel the revenge process are often intensified through rumination. Rumination describes dwelling on what`s upsetting way to long. To do so, for example, turns anger which is a hot emotion into a cold emotional state. Revenge, unforgiveness, bitterness, hatred,and murder all of which define cold emotional states. Eph 4:26 Instructs us not to let the sun go down upon our wrath, which is based on staying angry way to long. Satan knows all about rumination. His understanding of rumination is why he often seeks to get would-be victims to focus on their right to remain angry. His diabolical assignment is to escalate the process whereby your heated anger turns stone cold. The stone cold mental and emotional state will stir-up various mental pictures and/or thoughts suggesting ways you can counterattack that promise to alleviate your pain through the pleasure of revenge. Oh yes! the rumination trap is brutal.
And so, as David grimaced inwardly, it was also glaringly obvious to him that he was in this dark place. Therefore the man after God`s own heart returned to prayer. Imagine him saying, "Oh LORD, I lift up my soul to you because I know you know that I`m in this dark place. I know you know what I`m feeling, and I know you see my thoughts. Oh how I trusted him! He and I even worshiped you together Lord! For him to double-cross me, he can`t be a true man of God! He was playing me for a sucker all that time! Your word says "Give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, to punish an offender," Right? Oh my God, I know you know how I envision cutting this man`s head off just like I cut Goliath`s off!
LORD, by lifting my soul up to you I see my soul in the presence of your perfection (God`s light). In the presence of your perfection I see my imperfections. In the presence of your marvelous light I see my inadequacies, and just how deceitful my heart really is. By coming clean with myself and you LORD, right now I realize that staying in the dark place will always strengthen my inabilities and prevent me from making the right decisions. Thank you Lord for showing me how to come out of the dark place and for revealing how the pleasure of revenge is rare and even when it comes is over-rated, short-lived and never brings closure. Moreover, retaliation causes the stinking emotional wound to get worse. Oh yes! emotional wounds stink too, because taking revenge causes the wound to fester, not heal. Thank you Lord for the insight.