Life can be the pits! Think of Old Testament Joseph being placed into a pit. Down you go, Joe! Have a swell time in the well! Then the brothers sit down for a nice meal in the desert. After all, getting rid of one’s bothersome family can really build quite an appetite… along with a killer thirst! They were so famished they didn’t even hear his screams for help. ‘Did you hear something, Simeon? No? Pass the camel jerky and mayo, please’! Judah, has a better idea. They see a band of Midianites and Ishmaelites passing by, teeming with spices for trade in far off Egypt. These caring brothers decide to do what’s right…for them, and sell the young lad to their distant cousins. At least make a few shekels off the boy!
I wonder what Joseph thought when they pulled him out of the pit? Maybe they’ve come to their senses? God has convicted them of their sin? No, now Joseph can see what his future holds…in shackles and slavery. Except that the Lord was with Joseph. The end of the story would not be in the pits but in a palace.
Psalm 28:1–‘To you, O Lord, I call; my rock, be not deaf to me, lest if you be silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit.’ The pit. Can’t get out. Panicky and claustrophobic. How do you get out? Irony of ironies, the ones who help you out are the same ones who sell you off into slavery. Isn’t that great? That’s all I need. With family like that…
I can remember when life was the pits, when my relationship with the Lord was less than it should have been. I’m no Joseph. No, the Lord seemed far away, but it was me who had turned aside. It was me who had grown cold to the One who loved me and wanted me to be close to Him no matter what. I had turned the other cheek… but not in a godly way. More like ‘I’ll go my way and you…’
You get the picture. Then, somehow, I started to sing old hymns that stirred me, singing them while I was alone in my apartment at night. I began opening my Bible to hear from God, really hear from Him… and then to pray. To talk with Him. I was being lifted out of the pit I had fallen into on my own. He was lifting me up and out. ‘Love lifted Me’. Not to sell me into slavery, but to free me up walking close to Him. Didn’t take long. Deliverance from a pit can be rather quick. And I’m still freely singing His praises! Join me?
Prayer: Lord, thank you for being our Shepherd, looking for us, and caring for us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.