THE CALL | Lamentations 3:25 [ESV]
The LORD is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.
CONFESSION | Lamentations 3:28–30 [ESV]
The phrase, Kyrie eleison, simply means "Lord have mercy" and has been used by the Church for centuries, including by Reformers like John Calvin as a congregational refrain during worship. We often use it to ask for the forgiveness of personal sin, but it is just as appropriate to call upon God's saving mercy as we experience the sinful effects of others upon us. Here we will use it as such. You can speak it, or you can sing it:
~Kyrie eleison [sheet music]~
Let him sit alone in silence
when it is laid on him;
let him put his mouth in the dust--
there may yet be hope;
let him give his cheek to the one who strikes,
and let him be filled with insults.
ASSURANCE | Lamentations 3:28–30 [ESV]
For the Lord will not
cast off forever,
but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion
according to the abundance of his steadfast love;
for he does not afflict from his heart
or grieve the children of men.
SING | Doxology [sheet music]
Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Read Psalm 31
2nd Reading: Luke 23:46
(Psalm 31:3-5) “For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name's sake you lead me and guide me;
you take me out of the net they have hidden for me, for you are my refuge.
Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.”
Scholars have organized the psalms into various categories, such as kingly, messianic, psalms of ascent, praise, thanksgiving, wisdom, confidence, historical, prophetic, and like Psalm 31 - a psalm of both lament and penitence. Penitential psalms are categorized as a psalm where the author is asking forgiveness for a particular sin. A lament is praying our sorrow. We read both elements of lamentation and penitence in this psalm.
In v.10 David confesses that it is because of his “iniquity” that this affliction has come upon him. Perhaps he knows this because the Lord has revealed it to him, or perhaps it’s a logical consequence of his actions. For whatever reason, David finds himself asking for salvation (v.2, v.16), comfort in affliction (vv.9-10), and protection from his enemies (v.15).
Our central verse v.5, is quoted by Jesus in Luke:23:46 as he hung on the cross and breathed his last breath. The last words of Jesus before he died, were “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” David’s use of the phrase is tied to a net he has fallen into because of his sin. Jesus, on the other hand, goes willingly into the “net” because of our sin. Jesus commits himself to the will of the Father in his period of greatest darkness.
Two points: The first is to praise God that you can be saved from the darkness (the “net”) because Jesus entered it on your behalf. While David experienced distress due to his sin, and while we experience distress due to our sin, we will never feel the full weight of our sin because of the gracious and salvific act of Jesus.
Second, commit yourself to the Lord. Have you sinned? Have you messed up? Are you paying some consequence for your sin? Are you lamenting some tragedy? The way of life is to fully hand yourself over to the Father. Commitment is putting all of your weight onto him, stepping out over the cliff. Trust that he will catch you.
TUESDAY-READ | Psalm 123
Spend time understanding and memorizing the outline of the Psalm, taking special note of the flow or transition points. If you are in a group, discuss the main themes and emphasis together.
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever,
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
City Reformed Presbyterian Church
The 90 Days project is a collaborative effort of many church leaders. Matt Koerber and Daniel Snoke have taken lead roles, with others helping to write daily devotionals.