Wednesday, July 10: Psalm 133 -139
“How very good and pleasant it is when kindred life together in unity!”
What would the world look like if we all lived together in unity? Think of how peaceful things might be when all God’s children might live in unity! Think of how much we could accomplish we set aside our differences. In my imagination, it would be quite a happy place. The best example of what things might look like come from the “Happiest place on earth” in the midst of one ride at Walt Disney World. If you haven’t guessed it, you’ll soon be singing . . . “Its a Small World” . . . after all. May strive for peace and unity in our small small world!
I had one gentleman at an earlier congregation that I served, whom I recall fondly. Extremely faithful, but much different from the rest of us “normal Lutherans.” What made him different? He lifted up his hands to pray. It was awe inspiring to see his humble devotion. Psalm 134 reminds me of him as we are all asked to “Lift up your hands to the holy place, and bless the Lord!” (V. 3)
Did you catch the parallels in the opening and closing verses of this Psalm. We begin with “Praise the Lord” and then an example of how and why we are to praise the Lord. Then, we close the Psalm with “Bless the Lord” with examples of how and why we are to bless the Lord. In between the Praise and Blessings we get a small retelling of God’s power as Israel became a great nation. If only, God’s people were faithful enough from beginning to ending to bless and praise the Lord at all times!
One phrase stands out as we reading Psalm 136, “for his steadfast love endures forever.” I can imagine this being read with two voices. One, telling the story. The other, shouting, “His steadfast love endures forever.” Its a Psalm of thanksgiving. Its a Psalm of praise. And try, if you want to read the “story” within the Psalm to read the first half of each verse (deleting the steadfast love forever part), then try to have that voice as an echo in your mind as you read, and sense the joy that the people have as they proclaimed, “God’s steadfast love endures forever!”
Talk about dark, “Happy shall they be who take your little ones and dash them against the rock!” (v. 9) Not even sure what to say to that!
I see Jesus as I read this Psalm. “Kings shall praise you” (V.4), “I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies.” (v.7) As our Kings of kings was lifted high on the cross, Jesus found the peace/protection he needed in the hands of God, and in his resurrection all kings and nations praise him!
“You have searched me and known me”
These few words occur several times throughout this Psalm. Think of the depth of the meaning behind these few words. To be known, inside and out, but God. Humbling, embarrassing, shocking, awe inspiring. To be known by God guess that means we all have work to do on how we live our lives.
Readings for the next few days:
Thursday, July 11: Psalm 140 – 145
Friday, July 12: Psalm 146 – 150
Saturday, July 13: Proverbs 1 – 3
Sunday, July 14: Proverbs 4 – 6