Echoes From the Campfire

Every wrinkle or line on his face he could match with another, for the years had marked his cheeks with experience, with laughter, with tears, with anger and with sadness, until there was left only a vast patience.”
              –Louis L’Amour  (The Shadow Riders)

    “For You have delivered my soul from death, My eyes from tears, And my feet from falling.”
              –Psalm 116:8 (NKJV)
Truth, it has been said, is often stranger than fiction.  Now, that is more truth today than ever before as there are few who speak the truth.  Maybe there is a synonym for lies–“media,” or “liberal left.”  I remember watching a show where Anton LeVey was interviewed (head of the church of satan).  In the interview he said that he always spoke the truth which was a lie, because as he explained, everything he said was a lie since he served the father of lies.  
    In Psalm 56, David is hiding from Saul.  Strangely enough he goes to Gath.  You remember who was from Gath?  Goliath!  Here is the slayer of Goliath hiding in the city of Goliath.  And on top of that David pretends that he is mad, and the people of Gath must have believed him.  Stranger than fiction for sure.

         8 – You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book?
         9 – When I cry out to You, Then my enemies will turn back; This I know, because God is for me.
        10 – In God (I will praise His word), In the Lord (I will praise His word),
        11 – In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid.  What can man do to me?
        12 – Vows made to You are binding upon me, O God; I will render praises to You,
        13 – For You have delivered my soul from death.  Have You not kept my feet from falling, That I may walk before God
In the light of the living? (NKJV)

    Some have said that David is showing a lack of faith by pretending to be insane, by acting the fool.  But think of where he was–in Gath.  Were there relatives of Goliath in the city?  Surely they remembered David.  David was fleeing Saul, but didn’t he jump from the frying pan into the fire?  One thing to remember, “We win or lose the battle in our spirit.” (George O. Wood)  No matter what type of battle it involves the spirit, and that is where the deep, truer fight takes place.  Losing your body is one thing; losing your spirit to the enemy is another.
    David realizes that God is with him and that is emphasized in these verses.  He knows that God even has a shelf of bottles and collects his tears placing them in his bottles.  Also, they are also written in God’s book.  God is mindful of our lives–every detail.  David knows that it is God that keeps him from falling.  It is God who delivers him from his enemies whether it be Saul, or the Philistine inhabitants of Gath.  Sometimes our wanderings bring us to tears or because of them we cry.  Pain can bring tears, suffering can bring tears, mistakes can bring tears.  God has bottled them up.
    One more thing I want to point out.  “Vows made to You are binding upon me…” (vs 12)  Have you ever made a vow to God.  Perhaps gone to an altar, and promised that you would never do such-and-such again.  The next day you find yourself “in Gath” and act mad and break the vow.

         “When you make a vow to the Lord your God, you shall not delay to pay it; for the Lord your God will surely require it of you, and it would be sin to you.”
                   –Deuteronomy 23:21(NKJV)

         “When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; For He has no pleasure in fools.  Pay what you have vowed—
Better not to vow than to vow and not pay.”
                   –Ecclesiastes 5:4-5 (NKJV)

Oh, my, what happens if you do not pay your vows?  Woe, and a double-Woe!  Just because you do not keep your vow on one day does not negate it the next.  God I promise not to do such-and-such, you vow, but then do it.  That does not do away with the vow; it is still valid.  Get back up, dust yourself off, and determine to keep the vow.  Through all the ordeal, trust in God for He is there for you watching, helping, and reaching down.

         “My wand’rings, all what they have been
          Thou know’st their number took;
          Into thy bottle put my tears;
          Are they not in thy book?”
                   –Old Scottish Psalter