Pour Out Your Heart to Him
Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. (Psalm 62:8 NIV)
Do you talk to God?
I mean, really converse with the Creator?
I know we all pray to God, but in my personal spiritual journey I fear that my prayers have a tendency to become a laundry list of desires and grievances.
Twentieth Century theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer gives insight to the emotional and spiritual distress that can be caused when we find we cannot speak to God in a relevant, meaningful way;
“That can be very painful, to want to speak to God and not be able to, to have to be speechless before God, to discover that every call to him dies within itself, that heart and mouth speak an absurd language which God does not want to hear.” (Psalms, The Prayer Book of the Bible, Kindle edition, pg 10)
So, what language does God want to hear? What words can we choose that speak to the heart of the Almighty?
I am convinced that God wants and cherishes a language of authenticity from his children. After his adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah, King David is confronted by the prophet Nathan. His response is a Psalm of complete brokenness in which he pleads for God’s forgiveness and grace and concludes that what God desires from him, and by extension, all of us, is authenticity, a heart and spirit stripped of all pretense and without subterfuge.
“Going through the motions doesn’t please you, a flawless performance is nothing to you. I learned God-worship when my pride was shattered. Heart-shattered lives ready for love don’t for a moment escape God’s notice. (Psalm 51:17, The Message Bible)
In the text we are examining today the Shepherd King pens a Psalm that speaks eloquently and simply of David’s unwavering, complete faith in God and instructs all of Israel, and once again by extension ourselves as well;
“Trust in him at all times, O people, pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge.” (Psalm 62:8 NIV)
A look at this verse in Hebrew opens a level of meaning that could otherwise go unnoticed. Every English translation I have studied renders verse 8 as “pour your heart out before him.” The Hebrew word translated “pour” is ‘‘shaphak” (ספכ) The root of this word is an ancient Canaanite word that means “to melt wax and pour it into a mold.” So when the psalmist exhorts the people to pour their hearts out before God, he is in fact encouraging the people to melt their hearts and to mold their hearts after the image of God.
When we wonder if God is listening, when we are unsure if we are praying appropriately, do we ask ourselves if we are truly melting and molding our hearts before God. Do we approach God with a view toward his heart? Do we pray for the things that God desires? If not, perhaps we should.
Next time we will dig a little deeper into the language that God chose to reveal the light of his word to his children. We will examine the three letters that make up the word “shaphak” and their individual meanings. That’s right, each letter in the Hebrew alphabet has it’s own meaning, and understanding how they work with one another will open up a more vibrant, rich level of meaning.
Join me, won’t you?
For the Master
John M. Fair