Andy Hollifield 4-7-17
2 Samuel 22:5-8 When the waves of death compassed me, the floods of ungodly men made me afraid; (6) The sorrows of hell compassed me about; the snares of death prevented me; (7) In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears. (8) Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of heaven moved and shook, because he was wroth.
Did you catch all of that? I know I ask that a lot and maybe I am the only one that has to have everything pointed out to me. This is a song of David on the day he had been delivered from all of his enemies out of the hand of Saul according to verse one. The next three verses he is lifting up and praising God and telling who God is to him and then begins to tell his story. Thirteen times throughout the book of Psalms, David talks about God hearing his voice. There are also numerous times throughout scripture where different people “cried unto the Lord and he heard their cry”.
One of my favorite places is in Exodus 15:25 where the children of Israel had come to the bitter waters of Marah and were desperate for water. It said speaking of Moses, “And he cried unto the Lord; and the Lord shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them.” What I like is the first part of it; when he cried unto the Lord, the Lord obviously heard his voice and he responded by shewing him a tree that would fix everything. I am thankful that one day when I was ready to come out of the Wilderness of Sin, when I had the law (from Sinai) but it couldn’t bring anything but guilt; I was desperate and had nothing but bitterness to drink; that God showed me a tree on Calvary; that when I cast myself at the foot of it I found grace (at Elim) that took away the guilt that the law had put there and gave me sweetness for my bitterness and peace for my desperation! Aren’t you glad that God showed you a tree when he heard your voice? What a great picture of salvation! I know that was a long sentence and probably not gramatically correct but I didn’t want to take away from the thought by stopping the sentence.
I am glad that it doesn’t take some long dissertation for God to hear your voice. There are a lot of examples of short desperate pleas to the Lord such as Peter’s in Matthew 14:30 when he started to sink while walking on the water going to Jesus and just cried “Lord save me!” It goes on to say that “immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand and caught him.” Another great example is Jonah chapter 2. Verse one says he prayed out of the fish’s belly and in verse ten he is vomited out on dry land. Verse 2 said “out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.” Simple as that. The next seven verses describe his condition, his location, his plea to the Lord, his advice for others that might think about running from the Lord, and then his promise to praise and obey the Lord. It may have taken Jonah three days and nights to decide to repent but it only took God a few minutes to deliver him. It took Jonah going to “the bottoms of the mountains” to repent. Don’t make God take you to the bottom before you cry out for mercy. Maybe the best example is the thief on the cross. It may have taken a few hours for Jesus promise to him to come to pass but it didn’t take long on the cross for him to recognize Jesus’s innocence and see him as Lord. When he simply asked to be remembered by Jesus, he was promised a place in paradise where he went shortly after the promise was made. Think about God’s mercy; had that thief been scheduled to be executed on any other day, he would not have met Jesus. Even in our worst circumstances God is showing us mercy but we often don’t see it.
To sum it up I will say this; it doesn’t matter who you are, where you are, or what you have done. God wants to have fellowship with you just as he did with Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. That is why you were created was to bring glory to his own name. God is seeking you but you have to confess to repair that broken relationship. He still loves you just as much as always, he is just waiting for the sound of your voice calling to him. When you call, he will move heaven and earth to meet your needs and save you out of your distress. Just as a parent knows the sound of a child’s cry and immediately know that something is wrong and rushes to thier aid, so is the Father listening intently to hear your cry. Cry out to him. Don’t suffer three days like Jonah but cry out immediately like Peter. And just like the thief on the cross, confess and call out to him; he has a place for you too. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!
Andy Hollifield 4-7-17