Echoes From the Campfire

The world is a brutal thing.  Full of scoundrels and made up of torment.  There is a curse upon it, made by men.  The race of man is small.  We’re nothing better than ticks scattered in the sage.  Maybe we started clean but now we’re livin’ in filth made by ourselves and we breed upon our own ignorance and vice, the smell which rises to heaven.”
              –Ernest Haycox  (The Wild Bunch)

    “But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption, and will receive the wages of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you.”
              –2 Peter 2:12-13(NKJV)
When I read Psalm 35, I am reminded of the old hymn made famous by Ira Sankey, the words written by John H. Yates.  The chorus goes like this:

         “Faith is the victory!
          Faith is the victory!
          Oh, glorious victory
          That overcomes the world.”

When you seem to be fighting the world, whether it be those at work, your neighbors, or the demons that seek your soul, go to this Psalm.  Someone said that this Psalm should be titled:  “David’s Reflections on Human Skunks.”  Look around you, people are constantly preying on other people’s lives one way or another.  Human skunks, they give off an odor that is unmistakable.

    1 – Oppose my opponents, Lord; fight those who fight me.
    2 – Take Your shields—large and small—and come to my aid.
    3 – Draw the spear and javelin against my pursuers, and assure me: “I am your deliverance.”
    4 – Let those who seek to kill me be disgraced and humiliated; let those who plan to harm me be turned back and ashamed.
    5 – Let them be like chaff in the wind, with the angel of the Lord driving them away.
    6 – Let their way be dark and slippery, with the angel of the Lord pursuing them.
    7 – They hid their net for me without cause; they dug a pit for me without cause.
    8 – Let ruin come on him unexpectedly, and let the net that he hid ensnare him; let him fall into it—to his ruin.
    9 – Then I will rejoice in the Lord; I will delight in His deliverance.
   10 – My very bones will say, “Lord, who is like You, rescuing the poor from one too strong for him, the poor or the needy from one who robs him?”

I’ve been around my share of skunks, both human and animal.  There was one time we were camping in Pennsylvania many years ago.  Just as the dark overtook the gray of the evening a “herd” of skunks invaded the camp.  They knew because of their delicate aroma that they were victorious upon entering.  We dared not throw anything at them; we could chase them out–the camp was theirs for as long as they wanted.  We went in our tent waiting for them to leave.  Even after they left their smell lingers and it was upon anything they rubbed against.
    Such were the people after David.  Such may it be in your life.  Hmmm, maybe you are the skunk and can’t get rid of your own odor.  Thomas a’Kempis said that verse three was the changing point in his life.  He had been struggling with his sinfulness and the perplexities of life when he was assured that God is his deliverer.
    Do you have weary bones?  When the rains are a day away can you feel it in your bones.  When someone dreadful has happened people have said they knew it because they could feel it in their bones.  The literal translation of verse 10, “I know it in my bones.”  Your bones will feel it, your bones will cry out–the Lord is my salvation!
    Horatius Bonar wrote, what may have come from the marrow of his bones, the following:

         “‘Tis everlasting peace!  Sure as Jehovah’s name.
          ‘Tis stable as his steadfast throne forevermore the same.
          I change, he changes not; for Christ can never die;
          His love, not mine, the resting place; his truth, not mine, the tie.”