Have you ever cried out for “Help”? You found yourself in a very needy situation, fear was creeping in, and you find yourself overwhelmed by the moment? I have no shame or fear in admitting that I have. I am a very needy individual; and when I realize I need help I will call out for help; especially to my God and Savior.
As I was reading Psalms 38 – 51 this morning that is one word that seemed to leap of the page at me. H-E-L-P! There are only seven uses of the word “help” in these 14 chapters, and they all have to do with God being our help or the psalmist crying out to Him for help.
I found myself at the age of 17; having just graduated from High School; on a trip to Florida with a friend and two other boys; swimming in the huge Atlantic Ocean just South of Jacksonville. None of us had ever been in the Ocean; I had never even seen it until that day. We put on our swim shorts, and we ran right in until we had to swim, and we swam, and swam, and swam, and swam; out away from the beach. When we tired we turned to look back. I had never been so far from land, as I was at that moment; and fear set in. I knew better than to panic, but I began to swim back to shore; or so I thought. All four of us were in trouble, and we were separated by short distances, and a whole lot of water.
I began to wear out physically, would stop, tread water to rest a bit, then swim some more. In my heart I knew at that moment my only help was in God; and I cried out to Him. The other boys were in as big a mess as I was, and they needed help too. I knew there would be no help coming from them. They needed help too. God did help me that day, and the other three boys. We all made it back to shore and home. Thanks to the good LORD who made the land and the seas, the stars, the planets, and everything there is.
The psalmist knows that his only help is in the LORD, and he cries out,
“Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation.” Psalm 38:22 (KJV)
He knows that he is ready to fall, and that he cannot make it unless the LORD intervenes, give him strength, and “help”, and he even admits his iniquity and sin. He cries out for the Lord to help him quickly. And he acknowledges the Lord as his salvation. We are all in need of His salvation.
“Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me.” Psalm 40:13
In this verse the psalmist asks that the LORD “Be pleased” even in delivering him; and again asks that the LORD act quickly to help him.
“But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: Thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.” Psalm 40:17
This Psalm is attributed to David. We would not think of David as being “poor and needy”, but that is how he identifies himself. No matter what our lot in life; our health, our finances, our investments, or lack thereof; our whole life situation; we are all “poor and needy”. If you fail to admit that you will never fully give yourself to the LORD of all. Again the psalmist asks the LORD to act quickly “Make no tarrying, O my God”. We often see our need as immediate; do we not.
“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.” Psalm 42:5
“Arise for our help, and redeem us for Thy mercies’ sake.” Psalm 44:26
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
“God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.” Psalm 46:5
I will not write any further comments on the remaining verses in the reading this morning. I do post them for your perusal and encouragement.
The Lord has given His help to all who will call on His name. The name that we need to call on is the person of His Son Jesus Christ who died on the cross for the sins of the world, was buried carrying all the guilt and condemnation of sin away, and His bodily resurrection which justifies us forever. Now that is the help we all need today.
-Tim A. Blankenship