13 Be gracious to me, O Lord.
   See what I suffer from those who hate me;

you are the one who lifts me up from the gates of death,
14 so that I may recount all your praises,
   and, in the gates of daughter Zion,
   rejoice in your deliverance.

15 The nations have sunk in the pit that they made;
   in the net that they hid has their own foot been caught.
16 The Lord has made himself known, he has executed judgement;
   the wicked are snared in the work of their own hands.

17 The wicked shall depart to Sheol,
   all the nations that forget God.

18 For the needy shall not always be forgotten,
   nor the hope of the poor perish for ever.

This is HP back in poor-me, blaming mode. Look how hard my life is. Look how much I suffer and it is all their fault. His major source of comfort seems to be the firm conviction that those who are to blame for his misery will be cast out. They will go down into the pit and be tangled in a “net” of their own making. HP seems vindictive, angry, small-minded and trapped in a warped world of victimhood. (The poor long-suffering saints of Thursday morning with whom I am studying these Psalms, are getting a bit tired of HP’s gloomy demeanour.)

The only glimmers of light in these six verses come when HP acknowledges that his only hope for “deliverance” lies with the one “who lifts him up from the gates of death.”

I wonder where I point an accusing finger of blame when I feel hard done by. What external forces do I accuse of seeking to ruin my life. Do I blame my up-bringing, my education or lack of education? Is it the culture that has instilled in me such warped values that block my way to fulfillment and peace? Who is the “wicked” culprit who has caused so much pain and anguish in my life?

This is of course not a helpful line of questioning for me any more than it is for HP. As long as I seek to point a finger of blame, I keep myself trapped in the shallow world of surface circumstances, running endlessly in a tight painful little circle of victim-stories. The stories I tell myself do nothing but dig even deeper the pit into which I have fallen. In the end all I am really doing is seeking to avoid taking responsibility for my life.   

Where do I look for “deliverance” from my sorry state?

Lord, help me to see your “deliverance” and to choose to give up all the self-defeating stories I spin about my life.