Calling Upon God!
General idea: David passionately cries out to God, as we all ought to do! OH, Lord please hear my prayer; oh how I am groaning and hurting. Please listen to my pleas and plight; for You are my Hope, my One True God, You are my LORD! I will not listen to anyone else but You. I love You with all my heart, with all of my being; I need You to intervene here. You are my King and I trust You; not my own wisdom or status; thus I come to You fully surrendered and opened. Please listen to me in the morning, as I talk and with all excitement and hope commune with You. I can’t wait to see what You will do for me as I am weak and You are strong. Thus, I can bring my requests and situations to You! I know that God hates those who do evil and hurt His children, I know You also can’t stand sin, thus we need You. How can I receive your care and still beware that my pride in not in your way. God hates liars just as He hates murderers and deceivers; He hates it when they attack His children and it grieves Him deeply when His children turn into people of immorality and wickedness like these others. These people cannot come to You; they hate You and their sin is filth before You. At the same time, our God is One of unfailing love and great mercy! He allows us to come to Him in prayer, to come before Him and be saved. He hears us and has compassion upon us.
Contexts and Background:
Like Psalm 3 and 4, this is a Psalm of lament from David who possibly wrote this when he was in great anguish at Saul’s service, as the lies and gossip were so overwhelming that he was forced to flee for his life; he was young and away from his family. Yet, at the same time, he shows his faith and confidence in God. David has a passionate relationship with God and models to us how a mature and faithful Christian needs to be. This is called a morning prayer by Judaism, by Christian leaders, and by leaders of worship over the centuries. This Psalm was used in services in the Temple and Synagogues for the morning sacrifice, as well as by the early church, by churches today, and for the individual Christian to see how one can handle adversity, distress, and uncertainty (1 Sam: 18-20).
Commentary—Word and Phrase Meanings:
Verses 1-2: David just asks God to hear him; he is not worried about what may come or the threat of his former friends who are now his enemies. Rather, his focus remains on God and he commits to letting God show him a way to work through this situation. He gives his situation to God, and reduces his stress and qualms so he can persevere and even prosper. He knows God will hear him because he is innocent and he knows God will punish the guilty.
· Give ear. A petition in prayer to God, that God will pay attention and hear his (our) prayer. Here is an appeal for justice while experiencing injustice (Psalm 17:1; 55:1-2).
· Sighing/groaning. Meaning our whispers or silent complaining and muttering—what we say that is not heard by others but is heard by God. This is also a term used for meditation, to somberly come to God with reverence and endurance.
· My King and my God. Meaning an intimate relationship, as God who is all-powerful and all present is with and within us. God allows and even loves for us to have a close personal relationship with Him. This was not just for Bible personalities or David; He is here for us too (1 Sam. 8:19-f)!
· King. Refers to the One in total charge. As David was king over Israel, God is King over the entire universe. David, the man who could be prideful and conceited, sees the necessity for God in his life. David recognizes that his kingship is of no comparison to God’s and accepts God as His Sovereign. Many kings who came after David did not see this, as many people today do not.
· Morning. Referring to the dawn of a new day, where there is hope and renewal. To start one’s day with prayer, just as the day begins, sets the tone for the rest of the day (Lam. 3:23).
The point is that true intimacy with God is found when we submit and surrender our pride, so that He becomes the LORD God in our life. God wants our hearts lined up to His.
Verses 3-4: Many people today think there is no evil, but the Bible, as well as real investigations into humanity, shows that there actually are both good and evil. But the good news is that even in a world filled with evil, God is still in control; He is Sovereign, so we can trust Him. Consequently, when we go though bad times spurred on by evil people, God hates it even more than we do.
· Expectation. We do not know what the future holds for us, but God does. Thus, we can wait with hope to see what He will do.
· Pleasure in evil/delight in wickedness. Many ancient gods such as Ba’al and Moloch as well as many of the Greek gods in Jesus’ time and the gods of Hinduism today get their jollies from our distress and take great pleasure in manipulating us into suffering. They love sin, apathy, and anarchy, whereas God truly hates sin and truly loves us and wants the best for us (Lev. 18:21; 1 Kings 18:25; Jer. 32:35; Rom. 3:13)
· Wicked cannot dwell. God is Holy and cannot be touched or contaminated by sin; thus, no one who is evil/sinful can come before God. To approach Him takes a substitution for punishment and atonement; sacrifice in the Old Testament and Christ work for us (Mal. 3:5).
Verses 5-7: David seeks God’s mercy and points out his innocence as well as his vulnerability and humility. And he prays that his enemies’ plans will be thwarted so they have no justification for their malevolent accusations. Yet, at the same time, he had to be wise and careful and not foolish—not trust God and then do something stupid or nothing at all. David knew Saul was seeking to kill him, so he calls to God, then plans his escape. (1 Sam. 8:20; 11:12; 12:12; 25:28; 2Sa 3:18; 7:9-11).
· Arrogant. Referring to people who are conceited and elevate themselves over others. God loathes them and those who are pretentious and flamboyant, pretending to be godly. They extend their self-image and self-determination over and against anyone or anything and then carry this further by scheming for another’s downfall. Here, in context, it refers to gossip and slander, which involves a bad person trying to look good by saying the good person is bad (Isa 2:17; Ezek. 28:2, 5; Jer. 13:9-10; Hos. 13:6; Psalm 31:23; Rom. 1:30).
· Hate all who do wrong. There is a contrast among those who hate God, those who are godly people, and those who love God yet still have sin. At the same time, God has a perfect standard, so we are called to be responsible and to account for our actions, Yet, He gives us mercy and grace. But beware; He passionately hates sin and loves justice!
· Lies; bloodthirsty. Here, people are twisting and perverting the situation to suit their own agendas, as evil people often do. You do not have to be bloodthirsty to be evil. Manipulating a person or situation in bad character and rotten fruit is evil just the same (Gal. 5:17-21).
· Great mercy/steadfast love. If it were not for God’s love and mercy, we could never pray, let alone be saved. We have no right to be heard; yet, He hears us anyway. We have all sinned and are fallen; yet, there is a difference between those who follow God and struggle and those who are evil. The difference is that there are those who receive His Grace and those who reject Him.
· Come into your house. An expression to come and worship God, asking for permission to enter His Holy Sanctuary and presence with all of our reverence and awe. Psalm 15 is an entrance liturgy—how one comes before God. We come into God’s house not by our efforts or deeds of righteousness, because we cannot do enough to make it. Rather, we come with His righteousness imputed on us, by His grace (1 Sam. 1:7; Psalm 15).
· Holy temple. For David, this referred to the Tent Meeting—the Tabernacle built under Moses’ time. Here, one approached God and His Divine Presence and prayed for mercy.
God wants us to rely on Him; still we must use His precepts for direction, and then act upon it!
Devotional Thoughts and Applications:
This is a Psalm of practicing His presence when one is in distress. Faith and trust and a commitment to obey are marks of a person who loves and honors God. God indeed hears our prayers and cares; the only catch is for us to be righteous. This is something He gives to the Christian! Even when life is falling apart, one whose trust is in the Lord need not fear what others may do or not do. When God seems distant and our hurts are overwhelming, we must still have faith and confidence, because our situation will change. Nothing is permanent; He does hear our prayers. It is we whose perceptions, fears, and hurts block Him out. But a will that does not seek Him will hurt us, others around us and even God Himself. We have to realize that God indeed cares and loves us, a fact not dependent upon our feelings or situation. If we really love Christ and we are His by faith, there is no reason to fear. But we must be careful our hurt and anger do not take us over so we forget His care and commit sin. There is never an excuse to sin; there is always a reason to trust Him (2 Chron. 20; Psalm 16:11; 62:5; Isaiah 6:6-7; 43:18; Luke 10:42; John 12:32; Cor. 3:18)!
We are usually so entwined in what we are dealing with we rarely look up to the One who Guides and Helps. We often miss the main thing in life and in ministry because of our preoccupations and distractions. God wants us in Him—to simply trust and obey no matter what situation we are in. Do not allow past pains or present trend-setting get in the way of what is really important. These things are not to be your identity. Christ is to be that; He is your All in All—so live your life as if it is so, because it is! Our God is the One to whom we can come! He is always here with us, whether we see Him or not. If we are in dire suffering and in all the noise of our pain and plight all we can see is the darkness of no hope, God is still there. He is waiting on us more than we are waiting upon Him.
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Dudus gets 23 years in prison
2012-06-08 11:43:04 | (0 Comments)
Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke – file photo.Confessed Jamaican gangster Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke has been sentenced to 23 years in prison.
The sentence was handed down a short while ago in the Southern District Court in Lower Manhattan in the United States.
The 43-year-old was facing a maximum sentence of 23 years.
The sentencing of Coke this morning by United States district judge Robert P. Patterson in a New York court, brings to end a chapter in the history of Jamaica, which intrigued and engulfed the entire island state.
Coke’s fall from the undisputed don of the Jamaican underworld to a US felon started in September 2009, with an extradition request from the United States for the man, who was a patron saint to the residents of Tivoli Gardens, a menace to law enforcement officials and a powerful figure to local politicians.
The extradition request led to a protracted dispute between the governments of Jamaica and the US.
The dispute lasted for almost a year and ended with then Prime Minister Bruce Golding acceding to the US request and sending both the Jamaica Defence Force and the Jamaica Constabulary Force into Tivoli Gardens to arrest Coke in May 2010.
The ensuing standoff between the armed forces and gunmen resulted in the death of at least 73 persons, one soldier and many unanswered questions.
Coke was not captured in the offensive, but he was held about a month later, allegedly disguised with a woman’s wig, in the company of clergyman Al Miller.
He waived his right to fight his extradition to the US and has been awaiting trial and sentencing since.
PLEASE, help me. I have been betrayed by someone I felt I could trust, now she is employing cheap blackmail to cover-up for her betrayal. What I am yet to understand is why people behave this way.
I am so disappointed and would be devasted if she eventually made good her threat. I am 28 years old, I was posted to Rivers State four years ago for my youth service. I was lucky to be retained and given full employment by the bank I served with.
I have since moved on to two other banks for better payment and good condition of service; courtesy aunt Philo.
Aunt Philo was my direct boss during my service year. One way or the other, we became close friends. I learnt that she lost her husband many years ago, and a son who was a year older than I was then, her son resided in the UK. He came home once in a while on visits. Aunt Philo liked me because I am very hardworking and according to her, because of my natural marketing skills. That was why she took me with her, whenever she changed her job and she always made sure I got a good pay.
After my youth service, I had to move out of my bank’s corpers lodge. Accommodation wasn’t much a problem to me because my maternal aunt and her family stayed at Port Harcourt, so I moved in with them as a result of the cordial relationship we enjoyed, I often visited her and spent the weekend with her.
Everybody who knew us called her my mother and she also used to joke that God has compensated her for a daugther she desired but could not have.
Aunt Philo, introduced me to the fun of the city. I wasn’t really an introvert, but my parents are the very strict type and from my chilhood days, we (my siblings and I) have been trained to be contended with what we had. We were raised by strict Christian parents and a capital NO to aristos was one of the rules in our house, as my mother would not stop drumming it into our ears that dating other women’s husbands was very sinful.
I had several admirers both young and old and I always stood my ground, that I would not date any of them. It was aunt Philo who encouraged me to date my first aristo – an army general.
I could remember the first day I went out on a date with him, I had stayed the weekend at my aunt’s place and the general came to pick me for our date at her place. When I came back, she wanted to know all that happened. I saw nothing wrong in telling her, because I saw it as no more than an ordinary outing.
This became the trend.
Whenever I needed to go out with the general, I would sleep over at her place and we always had a lot to talk about. The first time the general had sex with me, he took me to Dubai for the weekend. It was my first trip outside Nigeria. Aside from being nice, the general was also very generous. He brought a lot of things for me and he also bought so many things for my aunt.
When I returned on Sunday and as usual I gave her the gist of everything that happened during the trip. I was however shocked when she started crying and I tried to pacify her. When she eventually stopped crying, she said the general and his generousity reminded her of her late husband. I really did not know what to say to her. I learnt from her that her late husband was also an Army personnel. But I could not see why she had to cry because, the general took me on a trip.
She resigned from the banking industry to start her own business, but I remained in the system. She gave me a lot of support and I was grateful for that.
After the general, I also met and dated other men, until I met Frank, a young naval officer who wanted to marry me. Just before I met Frank, my aunt’s family had to move back to Lagos from Port Harcourt, I had no problem getting a good accommodation. One of my aunt’s flats was vacant by then. She asked me to move in, but I insisted on paying.
She has a three-bungalow apartment. She lives in one, rented one out and the third one she reserved for her son whenever he came home on visit.
Her tenant, moved out and I moved in. I was always in her apartment, but it was good to know that I had my own place.
When I met Frank, I decided to put an end to aristo era in my life, but aunt Philo said I shouldn’t be a fool that I could play along. She said that there was nothing wrong in dating Frank and still keeping my aristos.
I took her advice and found myself entertaining some of my guests in her apartment even when Frank was around. Frank had no cause to suspect any foul play and I felt I was equally playing safe.
WHENEVER Frank was in town or with me at my own flat, I would entertain my other male friends at Aunt Philo’s place. Neither my aristo nor frank thought otherwise because we were all used to her.
On a fateful day, I had a guest, a handsome guy who came in from the United States and I noticed that Aunty Philo was unusually friendly with him, so I was a little bit skeptical about leaving him with her. I should let you know that Aunty Philo is an unrepentant flirt. She would flirt with any man in trousers, younger men are her trade in stock.
Frank was around for the weekend, so she had Austin to herself in their apartment. I kept shuttling between my apartment and hers and when it got to a stage, Frank suggested that we move to aunty Philo’s apartment, if what I had to do there was more important to me, I had no choice but to relax and stay back with Frank. When I accused Aunty Philo of flirting with Austin, her reply shocked me, “Na because of only you God create beter tin?” was her reply.
After this incident, I became very careful. I decided to do away with some of these men and I made up my mind not to entertain any of my friends, if I must have any, in her house again.
She noticed this and started asking me questions, I explained to her that my decision to go low profile had nothing to do with her, but because I had made up my mind to take my affair with Frank seriously, she told me I was a fool, but I didn’t mind.
Not that I stopped having flings, but I did not bring my dates home again. I was careful so that my decision did not affect my relationship with her at home. Three months ago, Frank had to travel out of the country for an official course. I promised him I would be of good behaviour; not that he had any cause to doubt my sincerity and integrity to our relationship because he never caught me at anything, but I personally made up my mind to be good.
Two weeks after Frank’s depature, I came home late from the office to meet a guest waiting for me at Aunty Philo’s. He was my very first aristo; the guy who took me to Dubai. He’d been out of the country and out of town for some months. He communicated with me for some months, but later, there was communication gap.
He said he had tried to reach me so he could inform me that he would be in town but couldn’t. That was impossible because I had changed my line. I exchanged pleasantries with him, but could not ask him to come over to my flat because Aunty Philo was already entertaining him.
I had to seat with him and pretend all was well, while watching aunty flirt with him. When it was time for him to leave, he collected my new number and tried to find out if all was well between me and aunty. I said there was no problem. I was also shocked when he asked when my wedding ceremony would be. He said Aunty Philo told him I would soon be getting married, but I told him not to mind her. He promised to see me the following week, but he could not make it.
I travelled down south to see my family, returned home on Sunday evening by the last flight and went to Aunty Philo’s flat. I wouldn’t have gone into her flat if I had not seen my aristo’s car parked outside.
I entered into the flat and found the two of them entwined on the sitting room carpet making love. I was shocked and when they saw me, both of them were shocked too. I walked out. Colonel dressed up and came over to apologise, but I told him there was no need for apologies.
I asked him to leave, he did that night, but he did not stop calling my line. Aunty Philo did not say anything, even when I greeted her the following morning on my way to the office, she did not answer me. Since then, she has refused to speak with me. But I heard that she told some people that if I tried to make any trouble with her she would tell Frank everything she knows about me. Are you sure she would this? Please, Aunty Taiwo, help me.
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