Psalm 31; Psalm 41; Psalm 65; Psalm 143
Praise the Lord!
Sing to the Lord a new song,
his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel be glad in its Maker;
let the children of Zion rejoice in their King.
Let them praise his name with dancing,
making melody to him with tambourine and lyre.
For the Lord takes pleasure in his people;
he adorns the humble with victory.
Let the faithful exult in glory;
let them sing for joy on their couches.
Let the high praises of God be in their throats
and two-edged swords in their hands,
to execute vengeance on the nations
and punishment on the peoples,
to bind their kings with fetters
and their nobles with chains of iron,
to execute on them the judgment decreed.
This is glory for all his faithful ones.
Praise the Lord!
There are several Psalms for reflection in today’s devotional. Each one offers an authentic view of what our relationship with God “sounds” like. Psalm 31 is a cry for help, 15“My times are in your hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors.” Psalm 41 is a plea for healing, 4 “As for me, I said, “O Lord, be gracious to me; heal me, for I have sinned against you.” And “10 But you, O Lord, be gracious to me, and raise me up, that I may repay them. 11 By this I know that you are pleased with me;…” Psalm 65 is an expression of appreciation and awe, “5 By awesome deeds you answer us with deliverance, O God of our salvation; you are the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas.” Psalm 143 seeks God’s protection, “9 Save me, O Lord, from my enemies; I have fled to you for refuge.” Psalm 149 is about celebrating God’s goodness, 5 Let the faithful exult in glory; let them sing for joy on their couches.”
What struck me about all of these together was that it was like reading entries from a daily journal: messages, thoughts, hopes, and prayers. On days of weariness, worry, and strife, there is an oasis in God’s strength to lift spirits, with reminders of joy and appreciation for what is offered and shared. Reach out with humility and humanity in your heart, be authentic in accepting God’s guidance.
For some reason, these passages reminded me of the story of Freddie Mercury, as told in the movie, Bohemian Rhapsody. He wrestled to discover who he was, somewhat vicariously through what others wanted, until he came to accept and appreciate his authentic self. He humbly made amends with those who had always tried to be there for him, who accepted him for who he was, not who others wanted him to be. Most of all, he valued the acceptance of his father. He was to perform for free at the largest charity concert in history, to raise money for food for a starving Africa. “Just like you always taught me father, Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds.” A cry for help, a plea for healing, an expression of appreciation, and a recognition of God protection and goodness…faith and trust in God will see us through.
No matter how challenging our days may be, how weary or broken we may feel, be our refuge, give us strength, guide us to share good thoughts, good words, good deeds. Amen.