Bless the Lord who daily loads us with blessings.         KJV/ Darby/ Websters/ Youngs

Bless the Lord who daily bears our burdens.        NIV/ NASB/ God’s Word/ASV/ERV

Bless the Lord who daily carries us.         NLT/ ESV

Psalm 68:19

Welcome to the wonderful world of Blessed Contradictions!  I heard RC Sproul teach today that there are no contradictions in the Bible.  If one account or fact SEEMS to contradict another in the Bible, it is either a paradox or a mystery.  Paradoxes are seeming contradictions which resolve themselves when more information is provided.  Mysteries however, are just in the pre-resolved state. We don’t YET have enough information which will untangle the ‘so-called’ contradiction.

So what is a truth-loving Christian to do, given 3 different possible translations of Psalm 68:19?  Which translation is the correct one? It all depends on the definition of ‘amac’  (6006).  The Hebrew verb ‘amac’ can either mean:  to bear a load or to load onto.

So which is it?  And how are we to know?

I will offer a solution to our di- or ‘tri-lemma’ by asking a question? Would it be so wrong if we allowed for all three?

Think about Jesus’ theology.  In his high-altitude sermon, He gently chastises listeners (and us!) for holding onto anxieties, however real and legitimate they might be.  Who among us older than 9 doesn’t identify?  His invitation to come and rest is balm for many hearts. Shoulders sag with relief as He calls the weary and stressed out to come & off-load weighty matters at His feet.

If I asked you right now, ‘Friend, what wears you down, what wakes you up in the middle of the night, what is on your mind today?’ would you have to ponder long?  I bet you could tick off 10 concerns before I muttered ‘fish and loaves’ or ‘water into wine’! But whoever invites THAT kind of transparent sharing?  Each of us is preoccupied with his own ‘what ifs?’.  At most, we seem to invite honest off-loading by asking each other, ‘How are you doing?’  But few are they who listen lovingly, with patience.  We all understand social conventions.

Should you be worried that since YOU are NOT going to be worrying anymore, then nothing will get fixed, Off-loading at Jesus’ feet is in nowise neglect.  Jesus Himself will pick up our problems and sort them out from His perfect perspective. He might hand them back, one at a time, but they will have been lightened and infused with new insights into how we might deal with.  Or some will be permanently taken from us with the promise that He will solve them with His resources. (They were ‘above our pay grade’.)

Recently I was worried about finding someone to cat- sit our three cats.  The regular sitter was gone and I didn’t want to ask our neighbor who occasionally feeds them when we are away for a weekend.  I actually kept writing down this problem as a prayer request, off-loading the burden each morning, exercising trust that Jesus would come up with a solution.  About 3 weeks before we left to go hiking, one of my students called up and mentioned that she heard we were looking for a cat sitter.  She works part time at our Vet and our normal sitter had mentioned to someone who had mentioned to someone……..who worked at the Vet who then said to Monica, “there is a lady who needs a cat-sitter, would you call her?”   When Monica asked the name, it turned out to be me, her French teacher.  And when Monica phoned and we started to work out details, I asked her what she would charge.  She ‘just happened’ to still need funding for a missions trip to Japan.  Our budgeted amount for cat-sitting helped make the difference in her financial support.  Now THAT is creative.  I would not have thought of Monica.

So you see, Jesus does not suggest we ‘go Buddhist’ and pretend that we don’t have any needs.  He actually proposes a swap: His concerns for our concerns – His yoke for our yoke.  But how different from our cumbersome and heavy backpack is this Heavenly Load!

We get to wear a yoke that is custom fitted, with all the right padding in the right places. If you’ve ever hiked with a backpack, you might know the blessing of having a strap that goes across your chest and one across your waste to distribute the weight.

And what goes in our Backpack by Jesus? Do we get world-sized problems? By no means, we actually get presents!!!  Spiritual gifts for every situation: think wisdom and courage and strength and material resources.  Some of the best supplies we get to pack are Bible truths. God’s promises remind us of His love for us and His always-available supernatural power.  His forever love and permanent Holy –Spirit-power are down payments of future grace due us, given our ‘new-birthright’.  So instead of meditating on all our problems, we meditate on God’s character, His past help and His future promises.

Best of all, among all the items we carry when we are yoked to Him are His surprise gifts.  Our God is infinitely creative and as Jeremiah reminds us, God’s blessings are new every morning.  So let us meditate on the ‘loads us with blessings’ promise of this tri-fold truth.

May we NOT be perplexed by what seems like a contradiction or tri-lemma.  Since the Holy Spirit inspired King David to pen the Hebrew word ‘amac’, we can be sure that God intends good for us whether by removing the load from us, actually carrying us or giving us rich and weighty blessings.