Skip to main content

Against the Wall

As always, God is faithful. I still have my job. My husband, Ray, wisely suggested I act as though I never heard the rumor about my termination. It was extremely difficult to do so on Tues., but then as the week progressed, I had peace. The realization slowly dawned upon me that no one, including my boss, could do anything to me, firing included, unless God allowed it. And if he allowed it, it must be for a good reason. Take a look at this post from Scot McKnight at JesusCreed. After my experience of last week, it resonates with me.

Filed under: Psalm 119 — Scot McKnight @ 2:10 am
Have you ever had your back to the wall? Ever wonder if you were going to make it? Ever wonder if the enemy would do you in? Ever wonder if you would live another day? The psalmist knows the experience, and the Resh section (119:153-160) reveals how the psalmist faced the future when his back was to the wall.

The theme of the Resh section is an old one: the psalmist is being opposed and persecuted and chased, and he appeals to God for deliverance and anchors his appeal in his own faithfulness to the Torah. Old themes sometimes reveal fresh light. I hope this one does this week for you.

The psalmist’s back is against the wall — opposed by those opposed to God — and simply faces God and petitions God and pleads his case:

“Look on my misery and rescue me,
for I do not forget your law” (119:153).

He asks God to look; he then asks God to rescue; he then argues his case on the basis of his obedience to the Torah.

Seek the face of God, seek deliverance through God, and keep your integrity. That’s how to face the future when our back is against the wall. He did not plot; he did not scheme; he did not appeal to powers. He faced God, asked for rescue, and kept on going on with what was right.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

If and If and If

This is the sermon I preached on Sunday, 10/1/17 at St. Timothy Lutheran Church and St. Mark Lutheran Church. The scripture text is Philippians 2:1-13

Paul’s letter to the Philippians is one of my favorites. It is full of positive, uplifting theology, like “RejoiceintheLordalways; again I will say, Rejoice (Phil. 4:4 ). It’s a feel-good kind of letter. Today’s passage from Philippians is chock full of great stuff and I could get at least 10 sermons out of

I'm Back & Giving Thanks

Sunday, 9/17, was my first Sunday back in the pulpit after 7 months. I am not completely healed from February's back surgery, but am mostly there. The doctor is letting me work only part time until our next visit. This is the sermon from Sunday, 9/17, preached at St. Timothy Lutheran Church and St. Mark Lutheran Church.  based on Psalm 103 1:-13.
When I read today’s lessons, I couldn’t take my eyes of of Psalm 103. This psalm is an individual psalm of one who was struggling in a desperate situation, who called out to God and God delivered him.This is my story too.
As most of you know, I had back surgery in Feb. and I too, received God’s deliverance. Following the back surgery, I contracted an Ecoli infection that nearly killed me. I am here today to declare with the psalmist: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits…”
The odd thing about this psalm is that it isn’t a prayer. It is not ad…

Flying Rebukes

This is the sermon I preached on Sunday, 2/25/18 at St. Timothy. Lutheran Church. The text was Mark 8:31-38. 


Immediately before today’s gospel reading, Jesus had asked his disciples who people say that he is. This is where the light went on for Peter and he made the confession, “You are the Messiah” (Mark 8:29). Peter certainly gave the right answer and was likely thinking of the attributes given to whoever would be the Messiah. The Messiah, people thought, would deliver them from the crushing rule of the Romans. The Messiah would fight their enemies. Basically, the Messiah was a strong king-like figure.
But, now Jesus fleshes out for Peter and others what that is going to look like. They were completely unprepared for the reality.
“Jesus began to teach them” (v. 31). Hadn’t he been teaching the disciples all along? Maybe, but this was different. This wasn’t teaching about miracles and healing. This is the turning point in Mark’s gospel, marking a new beginning.
“Jesus began to teach the…