Heman's Honesty – Sunday Thought For The Day
WRITTEN FOR OUR DAILY BREAD 8/19/12 BY: David H. Roper
I marvel at Heman, the poet who wrote Psalm 88. His lot in life was unrelieved distress. “My soul is full of troubles,” he lamented (v.3). He was fed up with suffering!
Heman looked back and remembered poor health and misfortune. He looked around and saw adversity and abandonment. He looked up and found no solace. “I am distraught,” he complained (v.15). He was “adrift” (v.5), “in darkness” (v.6), “afflicted” (vv.7,15), and “cast off” (v.14). He could see no light at the end of the tunnel; no resolution of his sorrow.
Heman’s honesty warms my soul. Christians who never struggle confuse me. There’s balance, of course: No one wants to be around those who babble on all day about their troubles, but it does my heart good to know that someone else has struggled.
Yet, there’s more to Heman than mere candor. He also had a stubborn, intractable faith. Despite his many problems, he clung to God and cried out to Him “day and night” (vv.1,9,13). He didn’t stop praying. He didn’t give up. And even though he didn’t sense it at the time, Heman acknowledged God’s lovingkindness, faithfulness, and righteousness (vv.11-12).
I like folks like Heman. They strengthen my grip on God and remind me never to stop praying.
In solitude, on wings of prayer
My soul ascends before the throne;
My only hope of strength is where
My heart and His meet all alone. —Anon.
Prayer is the soil in which hope grows best.
READ: Psalm 88
88 O lord God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee:
2 Let my prayer come before thee: incline thine ear unto my cry;
3 For my soul is full of troubles: and my life draweth nigh unto the grave.
4 I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that hath no strength:
5 Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand.
6 Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps.
7 Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. Selah.
8 Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me; thou hast made me an abomination unto them: I am shut up, and I cannot come forth.
9 Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction: Lord, I have called daily upon thee, I have stretched out my hands unto thee.
10 Wilt thou shew wonders to the dead? shall the dead arise and praise thee? Selah.
11 Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave? or thy faithfulness in destruction?
12 Shall thy wonders be known in the dark? and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?
13 But unto thee have I cried, O Lord; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee.
14 Lord, why castest thou off my soul? why hidest thou thy face from me?
15 I am afflicted and ready to die from my youth up: while I suffer thy terrors I am distracted.
16 Thy fierce wrath goeth over me; thy terrors have cut me off.
17 They came round about me daily like water; they compassed me about together.
18 Lover and friend hast thou put far from me, and mine acquaintance into darkness.
About the Author
Mychal S. Massie is an ordained minister who spent 13 years in full-time Christian Ministry. Today he serves as founder and Chairman of the Racial Policy Center (RPC), a think tank he officially founded in September 2015. RPC advocates for a colorblind society. He was founder and president of the non-profit “In His Name Ministries.” He is the former National Chairman of a conservative Capitol Hill think tank; and a former member of the think tank National Center for Public Policy Research. Read entire bio here