As I have been reading and analyzing poetry this semester in my American Literature course, I have really learned to love and appreciate the structure, purpose and imagery behind the poet’s words. The Bible is also full of rich poetry written by the prophets, King David, even Jesus. Unlike secular poetry, this lyric poetry found in scripture, is not written in meter or rhyme. Most importantly, religious lyric poetry reflects the inner feelings of the person whose soul is stirred by thoughts of God. Therefore, this morning, in my quiet time, I turned to the poetry of King David in order to find comfort.
I have recently begun to lose hearing in my left ear due to complications of Meniere’s disease. This has been very debilitating and discouraging, of course, as God has given us this great gift to discover and appreciate the world around us. I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed hearing until it became diminished and muffled.
Hearing was very important to David as well. He voiced his prayers to the Lord, for him to “hear”. He was a musician. He loved not only to play music in order to worship the Lord, he loved to sing it as well in order to please the ears and heart of the Lord: “Sing praises to the Lord (9.11)”.
In the book of Psalms, David used the beautiful language of lyrical poetry to express his brokenness to God as well. This was the passage I turned to:
1Give ear to my words, O Lord,
consider my sighing.
2Listen to my cry for help,
my King and my God,
for to you I pray.
3In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait in expectation(5).
There are many Psalms written by David expressing the use of hearing: “Hear, O Lord, my righteous plea;/ listen to my cry./ Give ear to my prayer-(17:1)”; “To you I call, O Lord my Rock;/ do not turn a deaf ear to me. / For if you remain silent, I will be like those who have gone down to the pit. /Hear my cry for mercy (28:1,2)”.
As I read these scriptures, my sensitivities were heightened due my own limitations and struggles concerning “hearing” with my physical ears. However, I was encouraged by the fervent message which God placed in my heart. He reminded me of the actual meaning that I believe He gives to “hearing” throughout the scriptures: It is not with our physical ears that we hear His voice, but by the intentional “listening” with our hearts.
David also reminds us that, “Before a word is on my tongue, you Lord, know it completely” (Psalm 139:4). I am so thankful that I do not have to rely on God’s ability to “hear” with physical ears to communicate with him, nor does He have to rely on the limited, ephemeral sense of “hearing” that I have in my feeble body.
I am also thankful that King David expressed his soul to God using lyric poetry to lead me to a place of comfort today!