Psalms for the Outcast

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

This summer I am reading through the Bible again in 90 days. Each time I do this I gain new insight and see concepts I have never seen before. Themes also jump out at me like never before. I recently finished the Psalms and was shocked at the Psalms of David. I knew David struggled with enemies. I knew he was the outcast as Saul pursued him, but I had never picked up on how much he focuses on his strife with others. It seemed like every Psalm he wrote mentions it at least once.

These verses of David's struggle were a comfort to me. If the former King of Israel could battle being an outcast to the point of being hunted down then my struggles with being an outsider are small in comparison. There are many reasons why we live as outcasts or in some cases have even enemies. Our failures. Others' jealousies. Strife. Slander. So many events in life can create relational discord.

David puts it best...

My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds; my neighbors stay far away. Psalm 38:11

or how about this?

You know how I am scorned, disgraced and shamed; all my enemies are before you. Scorn has broken my heart and has left me helpless; I looked for sympathy, but there was none, for comforters, but I found none. Psalm 69:19-20

I do believe this king knew a bit about rejection from others. Not all the verses David writes are full of the "Woe is Me" mentality. There is one place David goes to time and again to heal his wounds. When facing rejection we must face God. He is the only One that can truly take away the sting we feel at being an outcast. Take a look at these thoughts the rejected King wrote...

But you, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand. The victim commits himself to you; you are the helper of the fatherless. {Psalm 10:14}

"Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise,", says the Lord. "I will protect them from those who malign them." {Psalm 12:5}

Show the wonder of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes. {Psalm 17:7}

For he has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help. {Psalm 22:24}

If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were raising himself against me, I could hide from him. But is is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship as we walked with the throng at the house of God...But I call to God, and the Lord saves me....He ransoms me unharmed from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me. {Psalm 55:12-14, 16, 18}

When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me? {Psalm 56:3-4}

Are you looking in from the outside? Feeling like others have rejected you? Do what David did. Run to the One that will never reject.

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