Psalm 7:15-16, NIV
He who digs a hole and scoops it out falls into the pit he has made. The trouble he causes recoils on himself; his violence comes down on his own head.
When I opened yesterday’s newspaper I couldn’t help but laugh. I was looking at the pathetically humorous picture of a young elephant that had fallen through a drainage cover on a road in Thailand. The elephant was completely helpless, unable to move, trapped by its own weight and staring up its trunk with a pair of huge eyes that simply said, “How did I get myself into this mess?” Don’t worry, they did, eventually, get the elephant out!
But as I looked at that picture, my smiles slowly disappeared as I realised this was a picture of many people I have known over the years, who have done exactly what the Psalmist was referring to in our scripture for today. They have nurtured ungodliness in their life, often over a long period of time, until the weight of their ungodliness has been too heavy for the flimsy spiritual ground on which they were standing.
They have been digging a hole for themselves and suddenly the covering gave way and they fell into the hole which had now become a pit from which there was no way out. Everything had recoiled upon themselves and they became victims of their own behaviour.
I stared at that pathetic picture of the elephant for quite a while and began to re-examine my own life. I realised afresh that there is no way any of us can get ourselves out of the pits we have dug for ourselves.
At that point our only way forward is total honesty, full repentance and total dependence on the forgiveness and mercy of the God who sent His Son into the pit of sinful Earth, to rescue all those who look to Him for deliverance. It is only Jesus that can lift us out of the pit and set our feet afresh on the rock of our salvation. What extraordinary love our Saviour has – we love Him because He first loved us.
Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for your extraordinary love – that even when we fall into the pits we have dug for ourselves, you long to come and set us free. Thank you that you never reject the ‘broken and the contrite heart’ of those who look up to you from the pit, with eyes of repentance, desperate for the forgiveness of their Saviour and the security of His love. Amen.