Monday, March 5, 2012

Psalm 16:4 Sorrow or Joy?

Today I want to just talk a minute on Psalm 16:4...

Psalm 16:4 The sorrows of those will increase who run after other gods.  I will not pour out their libations of blood (ceremonial pouring), or take up their names on my lips (call on them, participate in them).

I enjoy word studies and when I look at Scripture, I always try to have a dictionary on hand, as well as an online version with Hebrew & Greek.  I just am fascinated by what words mean and where they originated.  The Hebrew noun for "sorrows" in this verse is "atstsebeth" which means pain, injury, hurt, wounds coming from (1) an idol (2) pain of the body (Job 9:28), or wounds of the mind (Psalm 147:3).  Websters describes sorrows as pain, distress of the mind, sadness and grief and the Thesaurus compares heartache, anguish, woe, regret, mourning, dejection and depression.  The same word is used in Proverbs 15:13 when it says "heartache (sorrow) crushes the spirit."

When I (we) run after other "gods" our sorrows (heartache, anguish, woe, regret, depression....pain, injury, hurt and wounds) will INCREASE.  Forgive me, but I rather think that is black and white.  This doesn't mean we won't have heartache or sorrow in this life - I'm not talking about the sorrow that befalls us because life and death happens and we live in a fallen world, but it does say that when we RUN AFTER OTHER GODS OTHER THAN THE ONE TRUE GOD, we will have sorrow following us and it will INCREASE. The first two verses of this Psalm remind us WHO is that one True God.

To have something "increase" means to be multiplied, to become greater in number, many, exceedingly greater.  This same verb is used when God told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply.  God meant for multiplication to be good.  He will multiply goodness and blessings in our lives when we do not chase after other gods.  

How many of us know someone (or perhaps even ourselves) when we have continued to walk in our own way and allowing "stuff" in our lives (walking against the ways of God, habits, attitudes, unwise choices, addictions...) that the sorrows and pain just seem to keep multiplying.  And we wonder..."when will they (or perhaps we) ever learn?"  In Luke 15 the story of the prodigal son had his sorrows multiplied because he bought into a life apart from God.  Only were blessings restored when he returned home to his rightful father.

I've heard "insanity" described as "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."  When we continue to make the same unwise choices, my friend, the results will continue to be the same.  

The same verb (sorry, this was fascinating) is used when "waters rose up and increased, and lifted the ark above the earth".  God wants to lift us up and increase the blessings, increase our joy and multiply our (godly) lives.  Not increase and multiply the generations of pain and sorrow.  JOY is the antonym of sorrow. 

Is there pain in your life due to wrongful and unwise choices?  Are you reaping the same thing in your life because you have continually gone down the same road and through the same doors?  You can acknowledge that before the Father today.  Talk to Him, tell him your hurts and sorrows.  Ask Him for forgiveness.  Recognize where YOU went wrong, what YOU did wrong - He can turn that around when we confess, and deeply desire Truth and freedom in our lives. You can trade the sorrow, pain and heartache for joy.  

Years ago, after a summer of ministry in Latvia, we were preparing to fly back to the States.  Our six year-old son had collected rocks throughout our time and he had them in a paper bag ready to bring home.  It was exceedingly heavy :)  I told him we had rocks in America and he could collect all he wanted there.  I encouraged him to "leave the heavy stuff behind" and we would collect new, clean rocks at our new home. He agreed and was happy to leave them behind because he knew something greater was awaiting him.  If he had taken them, we would have paid a price to carry heavy rocks on the plane.  We pay a heavy price to carry our load.  But God says we can give it up because something greater, cleaner and new awaits us.  

Trade in the weight today, friends, if this word sparks something in your heart.  Find a friend to pray with you to help you unload the burden.  Or if you are alone, the Father is there to take the sorrow and pain.  There may still be rough days ahead because we do have consequences to wrong choices, etc., BUT you have a FATHER GOD who is there to begin to multiply blessings and make them evident to you as you trade in your sorrows for His joy.

There is a song..."I'm trading my sorrows, I'm trading my pain, I'm trading my shame for the joy of the Lord."  

Today, the JOY OF THE LORD CAN BE YOUR STRENGTH, Nehemiah 8:10


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