Today we look at the climber on Gods holy hill who has come a cropper, instead of looking to the Lord he has relied on his own strength and fallen into a ravine or crevice.
We do not need to look around us to see who it is talking, because it is our self if we are honest; out there on the path of righteousness not walking but lying on our back.
The moan and groan coming from the heart of a defeated Christian, a sight and sound that our precious Saviour hears constantly on the holy hill, where folk have relied on past experience, rather than draw from the fresh supply of His strength.
We cry out in pain because the relationship has been damaged and we are waiting for the 'rebuke' that we deserve.
The word 'rebuke' points to corrections that need to be made so as not to fall or repeat the mistakes again.
The word 'chasten' points to discipline that will bring us into a closer relationship with God, the pruning off of the old, so that the new life can burst forth.
In place of failure will come conquest if we learn to be disciplined in Gods school of learning, the spiritual life is gained not by head knowledge but by practical application of what we receive from Gods word.
When our Father chastens us on His holy hill, He corrects and reforms us to obey or believe His word rather than just receive it as a matter of fact message.
We should be learning all the time, every day He has fresh lessons for us to receive, as practical applications will help us in our walk along the path of righteousness.
In our learning we find that our Father does not stand over us to beat us with His rod of authority when we lie bruised and battered at His feet, love is poured out on us first and foremost and the discipline given is pronounced in tender loving care.
He 'knows' that we are weak and poor before ever we utter the words. He understands the vexation of spirit within us because He sees the whole picture and not the fragment as we do.
He does not excuse us for making mistakes but neither does He exempt us from discipline because we have fallen, rather He ministers to us personally in love, so that we are more diligent in our walk from now on.
So many of our falls are due to personal ability taking the place of Gods ability to help us climb His holy mount, we are constantly failing because we are relying too much on our own abilities.
We are miserable failures on the holy hill at the best of times but we need not be if only we learn to trust and obey Gods holy word day by day.
I am reminded this morning that the climbing fraternity have very strict rules to obey when climbing and even the experienced mountaineers take great care when on the rock climbs, at low level, as on the high peaks of the world.
You cannot play around when climbing either physically or spiritually. Dangers lurk when the concentration is broken or when the short cut is taken.
So in the Christian life we can climb well for the short term but the high peaks are only conquered by those willing to go for the peak.
The time of trouble is the root of the Psalm in front of us and it can be sung by all Christians with deep feeling as we slip and slide around, across the day.
Dedication is needed to conquer and with it comes the determination to keep close to the Guide, but this throws up problems as we recognise our own weaknesses.
We make mistakes all along the way, we make rash moves that cost us dearly on the spiritual climb and we are prone to cry out when things do not go as we anticipated they should do.
We look too much to the flesh life and not enough to the Holy Spirit working in us and as a result, failure is obvious to us if not openly to others.
David has fallen into a crevice on his climb and is conscious of the fall as he lies on his back before the Lord helpless to do anything about his condition.
Repentance is needed, and the Lord hears this right early from his servant, who pours out his complaint to the Lord v4.
The loss of sight in the gloom is terrifying and the feeling is as if the Guide is oblivious of the fallen servant, in truth He is more conscious of His servant than he realizes.
'Return' means to come to ones aid, to turn around and find the fallen climber, the word can also mean to restore those that have fallen back into a spiritual healthy condition.
David is well aware that the Lord is the only one who can do that for him, so he cries out in his anxiety as he faces certain death if He does not hear him.
The Lord is not a distance away, but is actually right along side His servant, just as He is to all of His children, it is our lack of assurance that is causing the problem.
He may be lying in the crevice as a result of a fall, but death is lingering in the background unless help comes soon from the Lord, the truth is, He is more willing to forgive our repentance than we are to show it.
The fact is when we remember the mighty acts of love, the great working of grace and the overwhelming mercy poured out by the Living God on His people, we are soon swept into a time of praise and thanksgiving.
The grave is 'Sheol', and points to the eternal separation known by those unrepentant sinners, passing from this life without Christ Jesus as the Lord and Saviour.
The eternal abyss awaits those who love their sin too much to repent of it, and Satan with his army of deceivers will be waiting for them at death to welcome them there.
The believer in the Lord Jesus Christ will never know the reality of hell as a place, because their goal is the summit of Gods holy hill, the heavenly place that the Lord Jesus spoke about so often while on earth.
David knew the reality of being a sinner and recognised the loss of contact with God as a result, he is not showing his human frailty here, but the spiritual life that has been battered and bruised by doing its own thing.
He is aware that he is not the man he thought he was but is conscious of failure in the sight of God who knows the truth about his situation v6.
Tears, grief and being weary through the sin that has broken the close bond, has consumed him and it is a real challenge to us today, to ponder when was the last time this happened to us?
We rarely stop and look at our spiritual state, yes we consider our standing in Christ regularly, but what about our state today?
'Sin so easily besets us', as in Hebrews 12v1, that describes the sin that is taking advantage of us when it should have no place in us. We rarely get to the place today where we are totally thrown upon God for Him to demonstrate His mercy on us, as we recognise the sin that is plaguing us.
David, in v7 is totally depressed at his spiritual state, and cries out to God to come along side him to deliver him as only He can.
The truth is, God has heard his cry and is ready on hand to deliver him, to rescue him and to release him as only He can and will v8.
David is restored the instant his prayer is heard, the covering of sin is acknowledged and forgiven and what a mighty privilege that is for repentant souls to know, when covered by the blood of Christ sacrifice.4
Now there is rejoicing in the heart of the repentant soul, but there is also the cutting off from the folk that have helped cause the sinful actions in the first place.
Here is the true test of repentance, the cutting off or severing of links, with those intent on living in their sinful acts and intentions.
They will never climb on Gods holy hill but they seek to stop us climbing on it, so we leave them behind, fixing our eyes on the Lord our Guide on the holy mount.
The Song is a solemn reminder to us, that all sin must be confessed and turned from and only as it is, can we know the reality of the presence of our Guide.