“He sent from on high, He took me; He drew me out of many waters.” Psalm 18:16
Here we are, Lord, looking at vindication again. And today we’re going to talk about how You bring vindication to a person with clean hands. And I was first sent, by my outline from the Bible study, to Psalm 18:20, “The Lord dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands He rewarded me.” Do you know what my first question was? Well, You know, Lord, because You know everything, into the deepest part of me even better than I. How can anyone be righteous and clean by Your standards, I mean continually righteous and clean?
So I decided I ought to read all of what David was saying here, especially since it’s inspired by You. And I came to verse 16. I thought, “Look at that, that’s vindication happening.” But I also had to ask, “What are many waters? Is that supposed to be like being saved from drowning? Is it important for what I’m learning today?” I mean “many waters” can mean many waters, like oceans or streams. But then it’s also used to give me this idea of the sound of You, Lord. It’s used of Your voice three times in Revelation. “And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps…” (Revelation 14:2) “And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and His voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with His glory.” (Ezekiel 43:2)
Many waters. I was just reading some thoughts on multiple dimensions and God and sound. And the way God thinks and the way we think and how we are able to listen or not listen and how You, Lord, are able to know our hearts and just appear where there are closed doors. And it all pertains. Because what if sometimes, the many waters, is all about all the things that You control all at once. What if it’s what You sound like because as You talk You are doing and being and encompassing and inhabiting and upholding and rescuing and rejoicing and more? What if You are the Ultimate Multi-Tasker and it’s the most beautiful and thunderous noise? What if it’s like the sound of all the waters of the earth in the greatest storm ever being controlled and molded by a Being Who is taking care of everything?
That really matters to me. It makes the grandest difference in my life today. Because there are so many things going on in my life right now. And I don’t have that control. I hear this sound and that sound and the other sound, and on my own, I can’t bring them together into one cohesive body. But You can. You can decipher and control. You can shape and mold. You overwhelm and nothing overwhelms You.
Within the church, without of the church, I hear many voices, and sometimes it sounds like rushing waves that want to crash over me. But this morning, I know those aren’t the voices that count. This morning I know that there is One who puts all the many waters in my life, and every life, and in the universe and beyond, under and into His perspective and His control and His order. So when it seems like I’m being drowned in the midst of many waters, I just look up, and I see the One, You Lord, whose voice alone is mightier than the many waters surrounding me. I listen above the tumult around me, and I hear Your voice raising strong above the tumult, and as I listen I hear the multitudes in Your voice, and I remember that I am one of them. And I hear the thunderings from You and I am not afraid because You are for me. And I remember to sing with You, “Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigns!”
So with that as my starting point, and I think that’s a Solid Rock starting point, David is helping me see how I can be a person with clean hands. I want to walk through Psalm 18 again. My cleanness of hands and heart start with starting with You. I must love You, rely on You as my strength, let You be my rock and fortress and deliverer. I must trust in You alone. You must be my salvation and the one I run to not only for protection but to see what lies ahead and what dangers are approaching. It’s all about me being all about You. So it’s all about You. It’s all about whatever happens, that You are surety, that I run to You for my answers, my peace, my safety, my satisfaction, my being. If this is my focus, if YOU are my focus, if my focus remains in YOU, if I am Yours and You are mine and I am living in that reality, and I mean living in that reality, then You WILL take care of me as You have promised.
And vindication will come as You deliver me from my enemies and those who hate me and those who were stronger than me. You will be my support. You will bring me out into a solid place of safety and rescue me. I think that broad place of safety is You. What better place could I be than in You? Why? Is it because I deserve it? Is it because I did wonderful things for You? No, it’s because You delighted in me because I was delighting in You and living in that delight.
You deal with me according to the way I deal with You and Your ways. Am I living in You and Your ways? Am I delighting in You? Because Psalm 18:20 tells me that You deal with me according to how I deal with You. Am I continually allowing You the opportunity to continually keep my hands and heart clean? If I am, then You will reward me with more of You. That’s the greatest reward I can receive from You. Am I keeping Your ways or am I following the voices of foreign waters? Who’s voice am I listening to and following?
It’s 100% about what I am letting You do in me. But first it’s 100% about what I am doing with You. Am I delighting in Your mercy? Then You’ll delight in placing Your mercy in me. Am I delighting in Your blamelessness? Then You’ll delight in placing Your blamelessness in me. Am I delighting in Your purity? Then You will place Your purity in me. Am I delighting in Your humbleness? Then You will place Your humbleness in me.
David is telling me time and time again that it’s all about You and what I’m doing with You and what I’m allowing You to do in me. You save. You bring down. You light my way. You give me strength to run and leap. You are my refuge. Your words equip me fully for battle, and successful battle at that. You make my way blameless. You secure me. You give me skill. You empower me. You allow me to overcome my enemies. You deliver me from strife. You raise my head. You subdue my enemies under me. Sometimes You give vengeance for me. Why? Because You live and You are blessed and You are exalted above it all, and if that’s how I’m living my life, then You’ll look to everyone like the God You are because that’s who I’ll be showing them and that’s who You’ll be showing Yourself to be in me. You vindicate me, You vindicate Your children, who keep their hands clean in You, because You love them steadfastly, so much that You actually delight in us and in this work that You alone are doing in us.
So what does it look like in real life to act this out? Well, since David is describing it poetically here, let’s look back out how he enacted it in his every day life. I’m going to jump to 1 Samuel 24. Here we have David running from Saul and he’s hiding with his small band of man in a cave in the Wildgoat’s Rocks. Saul, steps inside this very cave to relieve himself. David’s men think it’s Scripture being answered, that he should kill Saul right then. But David sneaks up and cuts a piece of his robe. And even just cutting a piece of his robe, cuts David’s heart. And even though God’s word had said, “Behold, I will give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it shall seem good to you,” David’s heart was struck because he also remembered Your word that forbids one from putting their hand against Your anointed ones. How is that for a sensitive heart to You and Your ways?
Then what does he do? After Saul left, David went out and declared what he had done and asked why Saul was pursuing him when he had only done right by Saul. He put before Saul the reason he had not killed him, because of obeying Your words, Lord. He was respectful to this man pursuing his life because this man was still Your anointed one, even though he wasn’t acting like it. He put judment in Your hands, Lord. “The Lord judge between me and you, and the Lord avenge me of You: but my hand will not be upon you.” So who was in control? David was letting You be, no matter what. There were many waters trying to wash over him, trying to persuade him otherwise, but he didn’t listen to them. He listened to Your voice and let that come together over the tumult around him.
He called out to You to look at the actions and the heart of both men. He called out to You to judge between the two. He called to You to plead his cause, to deliver him. And momentarily, David’s decisions had an effect on Saul. He repented. He realized his actions were evil and David’s were righteous. Why? Because David didn’t respond as he was; David responded with kindness to Saul’s evil actions. That’s a work of God. Saul knew he wouldn’t have made that decision. Well, Saul made David promise to not kill his descendants (as was the custom of conquering kings). I don’t think that Saul would have made that promise to David. But isn’t it something how Saul knew that when David rose to power through God’s hand, he could depend on this righteous man who delighted in God and His ways to keep his word? So even the unrighteous know a righteous man when they see one. And when God’s full vindication came, and he was avenged, David kept his promise. And that vengeance that came, well, it wasn’t a sweet thing for David. The deliverance was, but there was sorrow for those he loved, even the one who had turned against him.
Lord, don’t let me forget what You are teaching me today. Don’t let me forget anything You’ve taught me ever. Just let it build up, stone upon stone, delight upon delight, faith upon faith. Let me so delight in Your Word and bring it back to my mind that I have whatever I need at every right moment. Instill Yourself in me. And let me instill myself in You. I owe You everything, absolutely everything. I can’t have clean hands or a clean heart without You. I want to hear Your voice continually. I want to be caught up in the sound of Your voice, like many waters, like so many mighty waters that all other waters are put to shame, that I know, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that You are in control over everything, and I mean absolutely everything in my life and in every life.
Second Peter 2:19 tells me, “For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.” Well, I want Your voice and Your ways to overcome me. I want to give into you. I want to be willingly conquered by You. Because being Your slave is a beautiful privilege, full of glorious benefits. Because being Your slave entitles me to the benefits of being Your child. Why? Because that’s what You decided, that’s what Your word promises. It’s worth giving up all my rights, just to have You be in control. I want to have to do Your will because I want it to be so delightful to me that to do anything else would be utter dissatisfaction. And I want You to delight so in me that You just have to take care of everything because it’s Who You Are.