"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

The Prescription for Hope In Time of Failure, Brokenness, and Sin

"Put your mouth in the dust, for there alone is your hope." (Lamentations 3:29). 
 
 
 
In the broken world in which we live, experiencing the pain of things gone wrong is shared by all. Shattered marriages, burst dreams, broken friendships, moral failures, and tragic loss are unfortunately too common. The prophet Jeremiah speaks of his own pain of personal failure in Lamentations 3, and gives us a peek as to the only hope for the broken.
 
"Put your mouth in the dust."
 
This is an ancient expression that conveys a suppliant and humble submission to God's dealings as righteous and loving in design. When wrong actions lead to painful consequences, "put your mouth in the dust" for your hope. Charles Spurgeon comments on this verse: "I do believe that some of you are in darkness much longer than you need to be, because you do not stoop to a humble confession of your sins." We often fight to keep our heads high to hide our faults, when the injunction from God is to go low.
 
"Put your mouth in the dust" also means we make ourselves lower than anyone else. We Christians are in adulterous love with Mistress Somebody. "Well, I may be guilty of this, but I'm not nearly as bad as So-and-So." Mistress Somebody can only be seen when the eyes are and the head are up. You can't look at her when the mouth is eating dust.
 
I received a message this morning from a young woman with a marvelous testimony of healing and hope in her marriage. She writes: "I've tried to get my husband to come to church with me the past fourteen years. It was a huge expectation I had for him. I tried asking, begging, guilt trips, throwing fits etc. My dad was a man always in church, and I expected my husband to be there too.  I heard your sermon awhile back dealing and decided to do what I had heard you say -- work on myself and my spiritual relationship -- and just pray for my husband.  The other day I invited him to come, but this time told him I loved him no matter his decision.  I told him I wouldn't hold it against him if he didn't come. He actually came!"
 
"Put your mouth in the dust, for there alone is your hope."
 
When our mouths are in the dust, we have nothing to say of ourselves, nothing to claim for ourselves, nothing to boast of in ourselves. With our mouths in the dust, our thoughts can only be on the Lord, and our boast must be in Him.  
 
This morning, at the beginning of a new week, it is my desire to "put my mouth in the dust" for my hope to be in the Lord Jesus alone. 

14 comments:

Christiane said...

"God descends to the humble as the waters flow down from the hills into the valleys."

St. John of Kronstadt

Curious Thinker said...

Very interesting perspective and good points.

Janet Varin said...

Thanks for the reminder, Wade.

Wanda Martin said...

Thanks for this, Wade.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

I’ve been told to better understand one verse is to read the others before and after.


Lamentations 3:24 (NLT) “…The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”

Verse 29 “Let them lie face down in the dust, for there may be hope at last.”

Verse 30 “Let them turn the other check to those who strike them…”

Verse 31 “For no one is abandoned by the Lord forever.”

This tells me that we are not to be like the guy that prayed for patience and he wanted it RIGHT THEN.

But we are to remain faithful doing what’s right regardless.

Your post is spot on that we should be humble.

I learned this in a closet.

Christiane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christiane said...

Over at SBCvoices there is sad news about C.B. Scott. It sounds so very unjust. And I thought, 'maybe WADE could help'.

Rex Ray said...

Christiane

What kind of help does C.B. need?

He is the only ‘blog’ person that’s called me on the phone. I asked how he got my number and he said, “I’ve got ways.”

I've always liked the guy.

Christiane said...

Hi REX RAY,

bad news, I'm afraid . . .
take a look at SBCvoices, this:

http://sbcvoices.com/sad-revelations-at-brewton-parker/

that information was enough to make me really worry for C.B., and although I don't know all the details, I hope that some in the Church will speak for him.

If the article is correct, what happened to C.B. sounds very unfair. In any case, I hope his situation quickly improves, as he has many in the Church who care about him and whom I hope reach out to him now.

Rex Ray said...

Christiane

Thanks for the reference about C.B. Scott.

On March 8, 2009 I made a comment on Wade’s post:

CB Scott,
You wrote, “Antagonists…go out of their way to make insatiable demands, usually attacking the person or performance of others…frequently directed against those in leadership capacity. An antagonist can be a leader in a church…the position of a person within the body is not relevant to their being an antagonist” and conclude they are spiritual abusers.”

It looks like Scott has become a victim of these people.



I see that Dave Miller is the source of information.

For those that don’t know Dave Miller, he used to be a regular commenter on Wade’s blog.

I’m really impressed with what he wrote about Scott being fired to ‘protect’ the image of the church by hiding the truth. Once Miller wrote: “To CB Scott, a challenge is red meat.”



On February 12, 2009, I wrote on Wade’s blog:
Dave Miller,
I was cleaning the car and found an old ‘love letter’ that you wrote on February 18, 2008.

It said:
“Rex Ray, are you dodging me? I would like to think my erudite logic so overwhelmed you that you decided there was no way you could respond! I am waiting like a maiden at the dance for your response.”

So it’s almost our anniversary, but has our ‘love’ faded so quickly? I had hoped we would have enjoyed ‘chewing’ on each other much longer. Your going away without saying goodbye saddens my heart. I thought you would have at least given me a little dig.:)”

Rex Ray said...

Off topic

I was looking back on old comments on Wade’s blog and read one of the funniest comments that I know. I had caught Jack Maddox in an error and he wrote:

Jack Maddox said...
Rex
Your freaking me out dude! I tell you what…you win! Congratulations! I admit it. Your right and I am wrong. Jim Richards is a diabolical dictator. The SBTC is a branch of the Illuminati. The CR was all about power, prestige and rock and roll. Good for you Rex. You nailed me. I will call Judge Pressler tomorrow and turn in my official fundie thought control card. Since I have fessed up and conceded your theological and ethical superiority there is really no need for you to keep records of my quotes and conversations any longer. You can take down my picture from the wall, throw away the pin filled voodoo doll, and tell the guy in the red sedan to stop tailing me. There is also no longer any reason for me to go back and forth with you any longer…
Sorry Rex, but I am breaking up with you. That’s right…no more talkie talkie.
jrm
06 December, 2007 01:15

Christiane said...

Hi REX RAY

thanks for the response . . . I suppose C.B. will find safe port soon as he has many friends in the Church,
but I was initially very shocked at what happened to him. Now, I rarely agree with him on much and he rarely agrees with me, but I do care about his circumstances, being an older person without a job. It was not good news.

Thanks for the responses that cheered me up. Your stories are sources of joy for people, and when Wade stopped blocking for a time, I remember that I missed your writing very much in those days. Glad to see you are still blogging and still sharing joy with your writing. Stay well, my friend.

Christiane said...

oops, 'blocking' should be 'blogging' . . . apologies

Rex Ray said...

Christiane

Your comment to me didn’t just make my day but a lifetime.

Thank you so much.