7. Coming To Trust In The Word (Psalm 7)

O Jehovah my God, I seek refuge in You; save me from all who pursue me, and deliver me, lest he tear my soul like a lion, ripping, and there be no one to deliver. O Jehovah, my God, if I have done this, if there is iniquity in my hands, if I have repaid evil to one at peace with me or I have plundered one oppressing me without cause, let the enemy pursue and overtake my soul; yea, trample down my life to earth, and lay my honour in the dust. Selah. Arise, O Jehovah, in Your anger; be lifted up at the rage of those distressing me; and awake for me! You have commanded judgment. And the assembly of the peoples shall surround You, and over it You will return on high. Jehovah will judge the people. O Jehovah, judge me according to my righteousness, and according to my integrity on me. Oh let the evil of the wicked come to an end; and You will establish the just; for the righteous God is a trier of hearts and reins. My defence is on God, who saves the upright of heart. God is a righteous judge; and God is angry with evildoers every day. If he will not turn, He will whet His sword; He has trod His bow, He made it ready; yea, He has fitted for him instruments of death. He will make ready His arrows for pursuers. Behold, he writhes with iniquity and he will conceive mischief; and he has fathered falsehood. He dug a pit and bored it, and has fallen into the ditch he made. His mischief shall return on his own head, and his violence shall come down on his own crown. I will thank Jehovah according to His righteousness, and will praise the name of Jehovah most high. (Psalm 7:1-17)

Those who trust in the Lord are constantly receiving good from Him; for whatever happens to them, whether it seems to be advantageous or not advantageous, is nevertheless good, for it serves as a means contributing to their eternal happiness. But those who trust in themselves are constantly bringing evil on themselves, for whatever happens to them, even if it seems to be advantageous and fortunate, is nevertheless bad, and consequently acts as a means contributing to their eternal unhappiness. (Arcana Coelestia 8480)

…those who have a perception of the Lord’s presence also have a perception that every single thing that happens to them is conducive to their own welfare and that no evil influences can reach them. This is what gives them the peace they enjoy. Without such faith or trust in the Lord no one can ever attain that peace, nor accordingly the bliss which joy brings since that bliss resides within such peace. (Arcana Coelestia 5963)

Last time we spoke about the use and necessity of temptation in the spiritual life and how, when in states of temptation, we cannot avoid the experience of anxiety that arises from doubts. Doubts are rooted in false beliefs that we are more often than not unconscious of. These false beliefs lie sleeping within our unconscious and awaken when we are vulnerable, coming forth like a lion or wild animal looking to tear apart what is living within us. And what is it that is living within us? It is the goods and truths of the Word that are being implanted as our soul, as we live our faith through a personal commitment to the Word as the basis for spiritual work.

When we experience anxiety and doubt in the spiritual life it’s a sign that our focus has shifted from the Word as our saviour to ourselves and our own resources. When this happens our internal associations shift and we open ourselves up to spiritual influences that deny the Divinity of the Word, and the Lord’s Human. In other words, we become subject to feelings and thoughts that dismiss the Word’s power to deliver us. In this state we see the Word merely as a book and not as the Lord in His Divine Human. Genuine truths urge us to look to the Word as the Lord’s Divine Human, but this is difficult for us to see because of the dominance of our natural thought that renders us susceptible to doubting this glorious truth of Spiritual Christianity.

But this truth, if we can grasp it, has the power to open the Word up for us in ways we can’t even begin to imagine. The dawning of such an insight would see a fundamental shift in our attitude and relationship to the Word as we begin to realise that here is the Lord in all His fullness and glory. We can ask the question then – Do we trust the Lord or Word with our life needs? Or do we prefer to look to ourselves and others for our needs?

The Psalmist, while clearly struggling with life, sets the example that if we are to be saved from what is opposed to the spiritual life within and experience a closer connection, and so a fuller sense of being able to trust the Word with our life, then we must look to make the principles of the Word the centre and focus of all our inner and outer activity…

A song of David, which he sang to Jehovah on the words of Cush the Benjamite. O Jehovah my God, I seek refuge in You; save me from all who pursue me, and deliver me, lest he tear my soul like a lion, ripping, and there be no one to deliver.

The phrase O Jehovah (or Lord) my God... refers, in its inner meaning, to the Word alone. The doctrines for Spiritual Christianity teach that the names used of God in the Word refer to His nature and depending on the specific term or phrase used, the emphasis is on the operation of Divine Love or the Divine Wisdom or both combined. This can be confirmed in the meaning of the terms in their original language. The name Jehovah, or Lord, in Hebrew means Being itself. Literally the name Jehovah means, Who Will Be-Who Is-Who Was. By Being Itself we are to understand the Divine Love which is the substance that underlies all that exists. So whenever the name Lord or Jehovah appears in the Scriptures, we are to understand the One and Only Being or the Divine Love.

The way this love is communicated to us is through the Divine Wisdom. The Divine Wisdom is the Divine Love expressed in a form that can become visible in such a way that we can grasp something of it with our understanding. It is described in John’s Gospel as the light that enlightens every human born into the world. Without wisdom there is no genuine expression of love, so wisdom can be thought of as the means by which love is made known to human consciousness.

In place of the word wisdom, we can just as easily use the word truth. The point here is that if goodness or love is to find its expression then truth or wisdom is needed to light the way for our actions so that love is produced in our life. Wisdom or truth corresponds to the idea of judgement, power and rule in the Word, where power is understood to be the ability to make love real and tangible to human consciousness.

So where the term Jehovah or LORD means the Divine Love, the term God or Elohim (the Hebrew word translated God here) means the Divine Wisdom or the power by which we are made aware of the presence of the Divine with us. This is why the light is described in John as the life of human being for through the light of the Word, we are brought to an understanding and experience of what genuine love is. So, Wisdom is what Love uses to create the means by which people can be brought into contact with the Divine Life, and so be raised from their death to spiritual things and into a genuine spiritual life and practice.

The term in the Old Testament, Jehovah Elohim or Lord God, as it is rendered in many English translations, carries the exact same meaning as the term Jesus Christ in the New Testament. The term Jesus, or Yeshua means Jehovah Saviour and as we have seen, the name Jehovah speaks of the Divine Love. The term Christ is a title denoting power, authority, or rulership and so refers spiritually to the Divine Wisdom or truth which, in the spiritual life, are those principles from the Word that are to govern our inner and outer activities. So both terms, Lord God and Jesus Christ mean exactly the same thing, and refer to the One Divine Being who is Divine Love and Wisdom which has its full expression in the Word and is understood to be the Divine Love and Wisdom incarnate. So whether we say Lord God or Jesus Christ, from the perspective of Spiritual Christianity, we mean the Divine Love and Wisdom or the Divine Good and the Divine Truth or the Word.

The natural mind does not grasp this. To this level of mind the term Jesus Christ refers to a material flesh and blood human and it can’t extract itself from the natural idea of person when reading of Jesus Christ in the Word. The spiritual mind however, doesn’t view being human in terms of material flesh and blood. To think spiritually means that the thought rests in what constitutes the spiritual idea of being human which has to do with the quality of love and wisdom a being possesses from the Word. So when the name Jesus Christ is read or heard and it falls on the plane of the natural mind, the thought is captured in ideas associated with a historical person in time. However, when this same name is heard or read, with attention given to the spiritual idea, no thought is given to person, but rather is centred on the idea of Divine Love and Wisdom expressed as the Word.

The Psalmist’s cry then, O Lord my God, I seek refuge or put my trust in You… is an acknowledgement that if we are to live a spiritual life then we must place our trust in the Word and what its spiritual sense teaches, because this alone is able to save and deliver us. Let’s think about this word trust and the idea of trusting the Lord our God or the Word. The Hebrew carries the idea of fleeing to the Lord for protection. How do we flee to the Lord for protection?

Those whose religion or spirituality is grounded in natural thinking about spiritual things will pray with the lips to a God conceived of as a natural person, looking to Him to manipulate things to change the situation or circumstance they find troubling them. Those whose spirituality is grounded in spiritual thinking, approach the Lord very differently. Their response is not to pray words from the lips and hope for relief, but rather to look to their understanding of spiritual principles or truths with a view to examining their life to find what leaves them open to negative spiritual influences. They do this from an understanding that all spiritual effort must be made as if of themselves while acknowledging that it is what they have acquired from the Word that gives them this ability. In the practice of Spiritual Christianity, prayer is never separated from doing the work of self examination and responding in our actions from this; these are what are called acts of repentance.

We find this work of self examination, or the searching of the heart expressed in verses 3-5.

O Jehovah, my God, if I have done this, if there is iniquity in my hands, if I have repaid evil to one at peace with me or I have plundered one oppressing me without cause, let the enemy pursue and overtake my soul; yea, trample down my life to earth, and lay my honour in the dust. Selah.

We are also shown here that living the spiritual life requires the cultivation of a willingness to witness the suffering that is associated with the process of having what needs to be exposed brought into the light and dealt with. The Psalmist is saying that if he has acted from anything that is contrary to the spiritual life then let it be brought down into the dust. This reveals the level of trust which we need to develop in the Word if we want to be led by it in living a spiritual life.

Trusting in the Word requires us to take its injunctions seriously. We aren’t trusting the Word if we are not looking to it with a view to order our lives, our affections, thoughts and actions. The Word says many things that are hard for the natural man to accept as true, but it is very nature of spiritual truths to challenge what we hold to as our truth.

To take Spiritual Christianity as the basis of our spiritual life we have to be prepared to accept that what the Word teaches is in fact true. Only then will we trust it to lead and guide our spiritual development. If we don’t accept it as being from and of the Lord then we will sit outside of it as a spectator. We will make the truths and principles that if offers us subject to our own judgement and reasoning, picking and choosing what we will accept and what we will reject. Trust cannot be developed without taking risks. To trust the Word is to live from it and it is only as we choose to live from it that the trust we invest in it through our willingness to let go of our ownership on our life can be proved. Spiritual Christianity as a spiritual practice requires us take a risk on the Word, for it is only in committing our lives to it that we will see its Divinity and discover that it is in fact what it claims to be.

My defence is on God, who saves the upright of heart.

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