Summary: What are we supposed to do when we get in deep, over our heads? The Word of God shows us.
Summer Psalms #14 - When You Wind Up Over Your Head
Sermon by Rick Crandall
McClendon Baptist Church - Sept. 2, 2009
*When I was going to Georgia Tech, I took a swimming class that qualified us to be Red Cross lifeguards. To get an “A” in this class you had to pass three endurance tests in the 15 foot end of the pool. First you had to stay in the water 45 minutes with your feet tied together, then 45 minutes with your hands tied behind your back. Those tests went fine, but the last test was 15 minutes with both your hands and your feet tied together. That test didn’t go so well. I got stuck between the top and the bottom.
*I kept looking up at the guy who was supposed to pull me out. -- I was thinking, “HEY! -- COME GET ME!” He waited about 30 seconds to make sure I was through. It seemed like 30 minutes to me!
*I was over my head! We get that way sometimes in life. This Psalm writer certainly did. What are we supposed to do when we get in deep, over our heads? The Word of God shows us.
1. First: Keep crying out to God in your crisis.
*The Psalmist was certainly over his head in vs. 1&2, but he did not let that keep him from crying out to God:
1. Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord;
2. Lord, hear my voice! Let Your ears be attentive To the voice of my supplications.
*“Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord!” -- What are the depths? Albert Barnes tells us that the depths could be deep affliction, or distress:
-Like sorrow from loss of family or friends or property or bodily suffering.
-Like the depths into which the soul is plunged under the consciousness of guilt.
-Or like darkness of mind, disappointment, the anguish caused by ingratitude, or grief at the coldness and hardness of our lost friends to their spiritual condition. (1)
*This Psalmist felt like he was in the deep waters, in the depths of the sea. Mentally, physically and emotionally this man felt like he was way over his head. He might even have felt like Jonah when he was swallowed by the giant fish. But Jonah cried out to the Lord, as we read in Jonah 2:1-2:
1. Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the fish’s belly.
2. And he said: “I cried out to the Lord because of my affliction, and He answered me. Out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and You heard my voice.”
*Both Jonah and the Psalmist cried out to the Lord. That is exactly what we should do when we find ourselves in a crisis. That word “cry” in vs. 1 is a loud sound. God wants us to keep calling out to Him with passion and persistence.
*“Lord, hear my voice! Let Your ears be attentive To the voice of my supplications.” Supplications are our earnest, heart-felt prayers. It’s the word picture of asking someone superior to us to bend or stoop down in kindness to help us. “Lord, hear my voice! Let Your ears be attentive To the voice of my supplications.” Don’t you know He will!
*During the Civil War a southern sergeant was taken prisoner by the Union army. His name was Horace Lurton. While in prison, Horace developed tuberculosis. His mother came to visit him and was alarmed by his condition. She knew her son would die if he stayed behind bars. So Mrs. Lurton traveled all the way to Washington to beg mercy from the only person who could help her, -- the President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln.
*Lincoln was so moved by this mother’s concern that he sat down and wrote a note to the Union forces in charge of her son’s prison. It simply said, "Let the boy go home with his mother. A. Lincoln."
*Horace Lurton was released from prison. He recovered from his TB, and went on become a distinguished lawyer. In 1909, Horace Lurton was even appointed to be a Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States. (2)
*Horace Lurton was way down in the depths. But the passionate, persistent pleas of his mother turned the situation around. All of those blessings came through a mother’s earnest plea to a good and kind leader. How much greater help can we expect from our kind and loving God! When you get over your head, keep crying out to God.
2. And keep standing on God’s salvation.
*In vs. 3&4, our Psalmist stood on God’s salvation, saying:
3. If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?