Sunday, July 24, 2016

Can't Relate

Can't Relate
July 25, 2016
Psalm 71:15  "My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds, of your saving acts all day long--though I know not how to relate them all."

Speechless.  Very few of us are left speechless on a daily basis.  We're full of words, opinions, commentary, and personal insights.  Though we may seldom be right, we still think our inspirations for others are choice morsels, nuggets of wisdom.  I, personally, find if I hold my tongue for a few seconds and really think before I speak, I end up having nothing to say.  In fact, I bet I could only speak five or six minutes a day and that would be enough to communicate the only worthwhile things I should say.  Instead, we fill the air with nothingness, trivial chatter that looks closer to gossip than spiritual insight.  The psalmist writes that he tries to fill the dead space in the air with retelling of the Lord's good work in his life.  He says something peculiar at the end, suggesting he doesn't even have the ability to communicate it all.

When was the last time you were speechless about the upcoming political election or regarding your boss's behavior, or describing why you have the right to complain about your lot in life?  Very rarely are we speechless.  But I've found, in a small group setting, if I put people on the spot and ask them to recount the good things the Lord has done in their lives, the list is started with a long pause, filled only with two or three bullet points, then ended with pondering silence.  People, even those who have been a Christian for any length of time, are speechless when it comes to telling of the Lord's goodness.  The psalmist can't relate.  He says the list is so vast that he cannot relate them all.

Some Biblical scholars debate why the psalmist couldn't relate the stories of the Lord's goodness.  Some say it is because he wasn't educated and didn't know how to write them down or express them appropriately.  Some say it is because the psalmist wanted to be vague, saying there are too many to count or retell.  Some say it is because the psalmist didn't fully understand the Lord's goodness, that it was and is beyond comprehension.  I would suggest all of those insights are accurate.  You and I do not speak or write in the Heavenly language therefore we do not have the ability to truly capture or communicate the Lord's goodness.  There are so many to tell, and the list is so long, that to write them all down for each person's life would take literally a lifetime per person.  And lastly, all of the Lord's work in your life and mine are beyond our ability to understand them and therefore we don't have the ability to communicate what the Lord truly has done.  

I would suggest when we get to Heaven we will finally understand.  We will understand how we should have been thankful for all of our unanswered prayers.  We will understand what the Lord was doing when we allowed us to walk through the valley of the shadow of death.  We will understand why are lot in life was actually good for us instead of the life we tried to achieve.  We will understand how and what the Lord was doing when nothing seemed to make sense, yet realize in hindsight how perfect it really was.  Christian, your life and mine are highly choreographed and scripted and planned and finitely executed with the utmost of care, goodness, and righteousness.  You must believe that; if you did, you wouldn't have enough time in the day to communicate all the Lord's workings in your life.

If I'm right, and the psalmist suggests this is correct, then you and I should speak out of the Lord's goodness and righteousness even when we don't currently believe it to be true.  Because in the end, we'll realize it was right and then regret complaining when we should have been retelling of the Lord's goodness.  God is good, Christian, even when you don't perceive it.  Start telling of His goodness in your life.  I think if you get started you'll not be able to truly relate them all.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Psalm 34:1, Psalm 78:38, Psalm 89:1, Psalm 103:10, Ps 127:1, Is 64:4, Lam 3:24, Rom 8:28-31, Rom 11:33, Eph 1:9, 1 Cor 3:6-7

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