Flights of Faith

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Psalm 139

So, I realized I need to reread Exodus before rereading Joshua. Thought I could
just jump in there and remember the Exodus story. In the meantime, I've been
sorta fascinated by Psalm 139. I read it in this book (Jesus and the
Disinherited; amazing read), stumbled upon it in the Bible, and then heard two
great versions of it on some Living Water CDs. Sorry, this is sprawling. I
(still) blame jetlag.

1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.

Wow. God knows everything about us. Our past actions and our future ones. How
comforting is it to know that our God is cradling our futures in his hand? It's
also a bit strange to know when we're stressing out about decisions God is just
chilling waiting for us to calm down and settle on a path (hopefully, one
according to His will). I guess it makes more sense to pray or reflect on
God's will than to stress or complain (Thanks Steve!) since God is the only one
who knows what we should be doing.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, [a] you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

To me, this has been the most amazing part of my mature Christian life: the
knowledge that I can never run from God completely nor will He ever run away
from me. I'm a Christian for life. The only question now is what type of
Christian will I be. Will I choose to be on rocky soil and forget the
importance of a biblical foundation and a church family? Will I allow thorns
to compromise my faith? Or will I choose a lifestyle that will not only enrich
my own foundation but will spread to others? (Matthew 13: 1-8). We simply have
to humble ourselves before God and ask for help to be led on the right path for
each of us, one that leads us to God everlasting.

11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

In the book I read (Jesus and the Disinherited), the author talks about these
verses to explain how hiding our actions in darkness do not make them any more
conspicuous. God can still see them. In particular, the author is referring
to oppressed people using tools of deception to outwit the oppressors. He
basically says, "yea, I know it's hard, but dealings in the dark to save your
human life do not do any favors to your eternal life." This has transformed
how I think about oppressed peoples, especially in academics. The past three
years, I've been taught to praise resistance by oppressed peoples to show that
there was a struggle, a fight for life, not just another nameless and lifeless
victim (think Trail of Tears). And while I always praised non-violent and
non-deceptive resistance (MLK, Ghandi), I'm going to have to be a bit more
careful when looking at others who deceive the oppressors for an end that might
not be worth the means. After all, we can never value worldly security over
security in the promise of Heaven. Interestingly enough, Rahab lies to protect
Joshua and the Israelites but there were a lot of potential explanations
provided in my study Bible about how that could be ok. (Joshua 2:4,5)
Something I'll have to think about a lot more as this issue is extremly
important to me and what I think is my calling.

19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,
and abhor those who rise up against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.

Woah! This happens in the OT a lot. Beautiful peaceful verses then all of a
sudden blood, war, vengeance, and hatred. It's awesome to have the Gospel for
context when reading this and to know that the circumstances have changed in
our present condition. Still, David is being honest with God. He's in
communication with Him. Although there might be more meaningful
(preemptive)ways of dealing with our anger, it's been helpful for me to go to
God with it and ask him to transform it into something that will be more
beneficial and asking for His will and justice, ultimately, to be done.

(switched the verses up)

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

Again, this is amazing stuff. Looking at ourselves for faults and asking God to
identify our faults?!?! Uh oh. This sounds scary but who else knows us better?
Who else knows where we should go from our imperfections. Only by being honest
with ourselves and God will we gain progress in our spirtual journeys.

Update: I'm in LA now waiting for my flight to Sydney Australia. I have no
housing in Australia! Ahhh. My roommate completely dropped the ball and forgot
to give me an exact address or directions. Now, I have another potential place
to stay. Please pray with me that my housing works out fine, and I will be
allowed to get settled and start my research shortly.

Funny tidbits. To de-stress I've been listening to a lot of Living Water. What
say my family?

(The Answer)
Mom: Oh, I really like the instruments.
Me: Mom, that's beatboxing.
Mom: What?
Me: You know, like Blake on American Idol (I know. Who knew he would be the
picture by the the definition of beatboxing?)
Mom: No, it can't be.
Me: Yea, it's this guy named Lucas Kwong. Each thing you think is an instrument
is just his mouth.
Mom: Woah!

(Sprit, Come Down)
My sister: ROAAAARRRRRRRR! (impersonating Lucas) Yea, he definitely caught the
Holy Ghost with that one.

As you can see, we had some good times before I left. Alright, hope everyone is
doing well!

Take care and God bless,


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