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  • Tom Cecil

11th March 2019 - Our Need for God



Psalm 69:1-3 - Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me. I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God.

Some thoughts on this passage.

The introductory cry implies a certain helplessness. The author is in a situation where nothing he is in possession of can alleviate it, so his only option for salvation is in God. There is also an inference that God possesses the omnipotent attribute. Because whilst the author has identified that nothing in this finite situation has the power or ability to save him, there exists a power outside, or external to this finite reality which transcends the requirements for salvation. Because the specifics of the requirements are left out, we assume that the external power of God meets any and all requirements. There is no doubt of capability, the question seems to be whether He will save.

Another question also arises from this opening plea - namely, why did the author choose to wait until now to make that plea? Why did he wait until his situation was so dire that he needed to call out to an omnipotent force?Even that question provokes another question - why do we think that such an omnipotent force must only be reserved for dire situations? Is it wrong to call upon that force prior to that escalation? Was such a powerful option forgotten? What other explanation is there for not calling earlier? The other question we might conjure is: did he exhaust all his finite options before getting to this position? Was he simply a bad steward of his environment or did he do all he could? Maybe this situation came upon him so fast that he had no time to look for any other option. Yet another question is triggered: why do we deem the calling of an omnipotent solution to a problem only justifiable if we have gone through every finite option? Is this pride or simply good stewardship and responsibility?

So my mind's scenario or image concerning this is as such: I can relate to situations where I have felt equally dire or helpless. Will I turn to God? What are my expectations of His response? What are my thoughts about the situation itself? Should I have done more, done something different or called on God earlier? Why am I in this situation in the first place? Then, what is the true or right answer to all of this? The author then gives us the metaphorical, poetic imagery of the situation: "the waters have come up to my neck." This confirms for us the filter for all our previous thoughts and questions.

This opening to the chapter can be approached in one of two ways: as a general view of one's life being in need of God for salvation or a specific situation which needs help. Either way, the principle remains the same because David (the author) is describing an attitude which expresses a need for God in all situations, no matter what that situation is. The Kingdom is about the heart, which is a spiritual Kingdom, so the attitude here is that David acknowledges his need for God because of his lack of ability to help himself. If can help ourselves, why do we need God? The truth of reality is that we have no power ourselves, we all depend and rely on God.

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