What do you see?

We used to play this game at my grandmother’s house growing up where you would look all around and focus in on something, and then you would say, “Ridda Marie, Ridda Marie, I see something you don’t see, and it’s……white.” Or whatever color it was. Then everyone else would look around and try to guess what it was. And whoever won got to be “it.” Our words would describe what we were seeing. Is it a cloud? Is it a flower? Of course, if no one guessed, you got to be it again, so you always tried to pick some teeny-tiny small fleck of something only you could see. David shows us something about this in Psalm 57…

We used to play this game at my grandmother’s house growing up where you would look all around and focus in on something, and then you would say, “Ridda Marie, Ridda Marie, I see something you don’t see, and it’s……white.” Or whatever color it was. Then everyone else would look around and try to guess what it was. And whoever won got to be “it.”

Our words would describe what we were seeing. Is it a cloud? Is it a flower? Of course, if no one guessed, you got to be it again, so you always tried to pick some teeny-tiny small fleck of something only you could see.

My heart is confident in you, O God;
my heart is confident.
No wonder I can sing your praises!
Wake up, my heart!
Wake up, O lyre and harp!
I will wake the dawn with my song.
I will thank you, Lord, among all the people.
I will sing your praises among the nations.
For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens.
Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. (Psalm 57:7-10)

David is declaring his confidence in God…declaring the goodness and faithfulness of God, and if we were playing Ridda Marie with David, I would guess he was focused on an amazing deliverance God just performed for him. Wouldn’t you? Listen to his words: “My heart is confident in You. No wonder I can sing your praises! I will awaken the dawn with my song!”

But if that were my guess, David would get to be it again because he didn’t just experience a great victory. He was running for his life. He was hiding in a cave from the king of Israel who wanted to kill him.

What must have been going through David’s mind? He had been anointed as king by Samuel. He defeated Goliath the giant with his slingshot. People had been singing his praises. God had even opened a door for him close to the king. Close to the one he would replace one day.

But now look at him, running for his life. It looked like the doors to his promise were shut tight. Saul was chasing him to kill him like he did the priests at Nob for helping him. He could have just focused in on the fear and despair. But he didn’t.

Our words are locators. They let us and everyone around us know what we see. What we’re focused on.

There is a progression to this psalm. David started by declaring words of trust for God.

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy!
I look to you for protection.
I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings
until the danger passes by.
I cry out to God Most High
to God who will fulfill his purpose for me.
He will send help from heaven to rescue me,
disgracing those who hound me.
My God will send forth his unfailing love and faithfulness. (Psalm 57:1-3)

He stirred himself up about what he expected God to do. He “saw” his Deliverer doing just that – protecting and delivering him.

He didn’t deny the problem, but he didn’t focus on it. He only made passing mention of it.

My enemies have set a trap for me.
    I am weary from distress.
They have dug a deep pit in my path,
but they themselves have fallen into it. (Psalm 57:6)

David laid it all out there before God. “I trust You to deliver me, God. I’m weary here. My praise will awaken the dawn because I know how faithful you are.” David didn’t let his circumstances tell his mouth what to say. He told his mouth exactly what to do. “I don’t care what I see! My praise will awaken the dawn!” Can you hear the tenacity?

And do you know what happened? God did deliver him. David lived a long life serving as King of Israel, just like God promised. God fulfilled His purpose for David. God protected him. God sent help from heaven for him, just like David prayed.

What’s our take-away?

Faith praises based on what it “sees” and not on what it sees. David chose to see how big his God was and what He would do for him rather than focusing on what he was running from….on what he was afraid of. He knew that compared to God, his problem was small – it was like the teeny-tiny fleck of something I would focus on in Ridda Marie when I was little. And it wasn’t worth his effort. It wasn’t worth his focus. It wasn’t worthy of his words.

Praise based on faith in what God will do is the sweetest praise I know. There is a strength and peace and tenacity that comes when we choose to “see” what is not yet done and let our words follow with praise. God is bigger than anything we’re facing.

What do you see today? Let’s choose to focus on how great our God is and tell our mouths to sing his praise and our emotions to rejoice. Our mountain is a teeny-tiny speck compared to His power and might! He is faithful Who promised, and He will deliver you!

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