This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him And saved him out of all his troubles.
From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
Their heart cried out to the Lord, “O wall of the daughter of Zion, Let your tears run down like a river day and night; Give yourself no relief, Let your eyes have no rest.
About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?” that is, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?”
Cry to the Lord
To you, O Lord, I call; my rock, be not deaf to me, lest, if you be silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit.
A cry is the natural expression of sorrow, and a suitable utterance when all other modes of appeal fail us; but the cry must be alone directed to the Lord, for to cry to man is to waste our entreaties upon the air. When we consider the readiness of the Lord to hear and His ability to aid, we shall see good reason for directing all our appeals at once to the God of our salvation. It will be in vain to call to the rocks in the day of judgment, but our Rock attends to our cries.
“Be not deaf to me.” Mere formalists may be content without answers to their prayers, but genuine suppliants cannot; they are not satisfied with the results of prayer itself in calming the mind and subduing the will—they must go further and obtain actual replies from heaven or they cannot rest; and those replies they long to receive at once—they dread even a little of God’s silence.
God’s voice is often so terrible that it shakes the wilderness; but His silence is equally full of awe to an eager suppliant. When God seems to close His ear, we must not therefore close our mouths but rather cry with more earnestness; for when our note grows shrill with eagerness and grief, He will not long deny us a hearing. What a dreadful case we would be in if the Lord should become forever deaf to our prayers. “Lest, if you be silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit.” Deprived of the God who answers prayer, we would be in a more pitiable plight than the dead in the grave and would soon sink to the same level as the lost in hell. We must have answers to prayer: Ours is an urgent case of dire necessity; surely the Lord will speak peace to our agitated minds, for He never can find it in His heart to permit His own elect to perish.
Streams In The Desert
As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing (2 Cor. 6:10).
The stoic scorns to shed a tear; the Christian is not forbidden to weep. The soul may be dumb with excessive grief, as the shearer’s scissors pass over the quivering flesh; or, when the heart is on the point of breaking beneath the meeting surges of trial, the sufferer may seek relief by crying out with a loud voice. But there is something even better.
They say that springs of sweet fresh water well up amid the brine of salt seas; that the fairest Alpine flowers bloom in the wildest and most rugged mountain passes; that the noblest psalms were the outcome of the profoundest agony of soul.
Be it so. And thus amid manifold trials, souls which love God will find reasons for bounding, leaping joy. Though deep call to deep, yet the Lord’s song will be heard in silver cadence through the night. And it is possible in the darkest hour that ever swept a human life to bless the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Have you learned this lesson yet? Not simply to endure God’s will, nor only to choose it; but to rejoice in it with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
–Tried as by Fire
Crying Out to the Lord
Many times in my life I have cried out to God for help – either because of my own desperate situation, or on behalf of someone else who was in great need of help. Sometimes God has answered this cry almost immediately. At other times it has only been after a long time that I have been able to look back and see his answer. Sometimes I have not received the answer I had hoped for. Yet, even then, it has always been a great comfort to know that God heard my cry.
God’s desire is for us to have a relationship with him that is real and from the heart.
Rejection is always hurtful – especially when it comes from someone we love or someone very close to us. Broken relationships are painful – particularly when we feel we have been ‘dumped’ by a ‘lover’ or a ‘neighbour’. The psalmist feels that since ‘lover and neighbour alike dump me; the only friend I have left is Darkness’ (v.18, MSG).
He says, ‘For as long as I remember I’ve been hurting’ (v.15, MSG). The situation seems like one of utter hopelessness: darkness (v.12), feeling rejected (v.14), affliction (v.15a), terror and despair (v.15b). ‘I’m bleeding, black-and-blue … I’m nearly dead’ (v.17, MSG).
Yet there is one note of hope. The hope comes from the fact that in the midst of all this he chooses to start each day by crying out to God: ‘I’m standing my ground, God, shouting for help, at my prayers every morning, on my knees each daybreak’ (v.13, MSG).
However bad our situation may seem, there is always hope if we cry out to the Lord.
Thank you, Lord, that however desperate our situation is, we can always come to you and spread out our hands in prayer. Lord, today I cry out to you for help …
Cry out for healing
God wants to bring healing to our lives. The people knew that if they truly returned to God, he would heal them (6:1). ‘Unless we receive a miracle, all healing is a process that takes time, especially emotional healing. Healing does not come easily and can be quite painful. Sometimes we have wounds that are still infected, and before we can be thoroughly healed, those wounds must be opened and the infection removed. Only God knows how to do this properly. As you seek God for the healing from your hurts, there are two main things you can do to facilitate the process: spend time with God in His Word and wait in His presence. I guarantee you will find healing there!’ writes Joyce Meyer.
If we want God’s healing, we need to cry out to him from our hearts. God’s complaint against his people in this passage is that, ‘Instead of crying out to me in heartfelt prayer, they whoop it up in bed with their whores’ (7:14, MSG).
The first three verses of chapter 6 appear to describe the painful process by which the Lord restores us to himself when we slip away from him. However, there is no acknowledgment of sin or deep repentance.
It may be Hosea putting the people’s shallow confession into words. ‘Your declarations of love last no longer than morning mist and predawn dew’ (6:4, MSG).
What is clear is that God is interested in the heart, not superficial action: ‘For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgement of God rather than burnt offerings’ (v.6). As The Messagetranslation puts it, ‘I’m after love that lasts, not more religion. I want you to know God.’ He is concerned about a relationship with him that comes from the heart.
His complaint is that ‘none of them calls on me’ (7:7). There is an arrogance, an independent spirit in humankind that refuses to ‘return to the Lord … or search for him’ (v.10). He says, ‘they have strayed from me! … They have rebelled against me! I long to redeem them … but they turn away from me’ (vv.13–14). He longs for them to cry out to him from their hearts’, but they do not turn to the Most High (vv.14,16).