Tuesday 31 August, 2021

Psalm 72

Of Solomon. 1 Endow the king with your justice, O God, the royal son with your righteousness. 2 May he judge your people in righteousness, your afflicted ones with justice. 3 May the mountains bring prosperity to the people, the hills the fruit of righteousness. 4 May he defend the afflicted among the people and save the children of the needy; may he crush the oppressor. 5 May he endure[a] as long as the sun, as long as the moon, through all generations. 6 May he be like rain falling on a mown field, like showers watering the earth. 7 In his days may the righteous flourish and prosperity abound till the moon is no more. 8 May he rule from sea to sea and from the River[b] to the ends of the earth. 9 May the desert tribes bow before him and his enemies lick the dust. 10 May the kings of Tarshish and of distant shores bring tribute to him. May the kings of Sheba and Seba present him gifts. 11 May all kings bow down to him and all nations serve him. 12 For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help. 13 He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death. 14 He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight. 15 Long may he live! May gold from Sheba be given him. May people ever pray for him and bless him all day long. 16 May grain abound throughout the land; on the tops of the hills may it sway. May the crops flourish like Lebanon and thrive[c] like the grass of the field. 17 May his name endure forever; may it continue as long as the sun. Then all nations will be blessed through him,[d] and they will call him blessed. 18 Praise be to the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone does marvelous deeds. 19 Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen. 20 This concludes the prayers of David son of Jesse.

This psalm begins as a prayer for the leader, the king – that he would lead his people with justice, mercy and righteousness. While some of the references here work better in the cultural context that this psalm is written, it is a great prompt for us to be praying for our leaders as well. In this current season, just mentioning leaders of nations, states and provinces can bring up a whole array of opinions, thoughts, judgements, derisions or praises. Yet as Christians, it is our call to be praying for our governing leaders that they too would make wise decisions that are based on compassion, mercy and justice – whether we agree with their policies or not. By lifting them up to God – who hears and is moved by our prayers – we are partnering with Him to make real and everlasting change.
This psalm then ends by praising God for His glorious and marvellous deeds. How grateful we can be that God is a perfect leader who does not lead us with judgement or disdain, but with wisdom and kindness as He continuously calls us to Him and loves us unconditionally.

God, we thank you that you care about our world on a big scale, and yet also know each of us individually and want to lead us in step with you. We lift up our leaders to you Lord and ask that you would help to guide their decisions, that they would lead our nations with your wisdom, mercy and justice. Amen.

Written by Ps Madelaine Tarasenko

3 replies
  1. Richard says:

    Mads – a great set of thoughts.

    Here are mine from SOAP this morning.

    It is clear from this Psalm that the expectation of the king in the time of David and Solomon was that the king was a defender of the defenceless, a champion of the downtrodden and oppressed. The king was to champion the cause of the poor and needy.

    Now that is a departure from the way we see leaders so often today. All too often we want them to be with the rich and famous an influential not with the poor and needy. King David and King Solomon did spend there time with those who were rich, famous and influential – this is not either or, it is both and. Here we see that this role of the king is essential to true leadership, not leaving out of our real help those who for whatever reason find themselves with less or disadvantaged in some way.

    So how do I respond in my leadership. Well it cannot be that I only minister to those I like or who are also leaders. I need to minister to the whosoevers, indeed intentionally seek them out, be in their world and minister God’s love to them.

    Father assist me to see as you see, not with the eyes of worldliness in leadership.

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Monday 30 August, 2021

Psalm 71

1 In you, Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame. 2 In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me; turn your ear to me and save me. 3 Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. 4 Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of those who are evil and cruel. 5 For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth. 6 From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb. I will ever praise you. 7 I have become a sign to many; you are my strong refuge. 8 My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long. 9 Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone. 10 For my enemies speak against me; those who wait to kill me conspire together. 11 They say, “God has forsaken him; pursue him and seize him, for no one will rescue him.” 12 Do not be far from me, my God; come quickly, God, to help me. 13 May my accusers perish in shame; may those who want to harm me be covered with scorn and disgrace. 14 As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. 15 My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds, of your saving acts all day long— though I know not how to relate them all. 16 I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign Lord; I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone. 17 Since my youth, God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. 18 Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come. 19 Your righteousness, God, reaches to the heavens, you who have done great things. Who is like you, God? 20 Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. 21 You will increase my honor and comfort me once more. 22 I will praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, my God; I will sing praise to you with the lyre, Holy One of Israel. 23 My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you— I whom you have delivered. 24 My tongue will tell of your righteous acts all day long, for those who wanted to harm me have been put to shame and confusion.

I love the constant sense of how much the writer of this Psalm is hoping in God. He appeals to God in God’s own righteousness to rescue and deliver him. God since youth had been the Psalmists hope and confidence. His reliance was on God. And this seems to climax in the declaration in verse 14: “As for me, I will always have hope.” What a powerful statement of assurance. How can he be so assured? Because of a long history of hoping in God, even in the trials of life, that has proven true.

Lord, it’s not about me and my righteousness that will get me through this life. It is left for me to choose to settle my hope in you, and keep it always there. For you, in your righteousness, shall be faithful, generous, and good to me. Hallelujah!

Written by Ps. Rob Waugh

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Sunday 29 August, 2021

Psalm 70

For the director of music. Of David. A petition. 1 Hasten, O God, to save me; come quickly, Lord, to help me. 2 May those who want to take my life be put to shame and confusion; may all who desire my ruin be turned back in disgrace. 3 May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!” turn back because of their shame. 4 But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who long for your saving help always say, “The Lord is great!” 5 But as for me, I am poor and needy; come quickly to me, O God. You are my help and my deliverer; Lord, do not delay.
I think many of us can relate to the opening verses of this psalm at the moment, enduring trough a long COVID lockdown. Come quickly, Lord, to help!

So, what do we do? Verse 4 gives an answer .. we are to rejoice and be glad in God. I am reminded that regardless of what goes on around me, the one thing I can control is my relationship toward God. To remain focused toward Him, to be thankful, to remain focused on the big picture – the end game – my relationship with Jesus and eternity with our Heavenly Father.

Lord, help me always to keep my perspective toward you, regardless of my circumstance that I may keep my heart soft, listening to your Spirit and celebrate your presence in my life.

Written by Suzie Hodgson

2 replies
  1. Kim Fleming says:

    A big Amen to that Suzie! Focus on Him, not on the present & what He has in store for us in eternity.

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Saturday 28 August, 2021

Psalm 69

For the director of music. To the tune of “Lilies.” Of David. 1 Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. 2 I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me. 3 I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God. 4 Those who hate me without reason outnumber the hairs of my head; many are my enemies without cause, those who seek to destroy me. I am forced to restore what I did not steal. 5 You, God, know my folly; my guilt is not hidden from you. 6 Lord, the Lord Almighty, may those who hope in you not be disgraced because of me; God of Israel, may those who seek you not be put to shame because of me. 7 For I endure scorn for your sake, and shame covers my face. 8 I am a foreigner to my own family, a stranger to my own mother’s children; 9 for zeal for your house consumes me, and the insults of those who insult you fall on me. 10 When I weep and fast, I must endure scorn; 11 when I put on sackcloth, people make sport of me. 12 Those who sit at the gate mock me, and I am the song of the drunkards. 13 But I pray to you, Lord, in the time of your favor; in your great love, O God, answer me with your sure salvation. 14 Rescue me from the mire, do not let me sink; deliver me from those who hate me, from the deep waters. 15 Do not let the floodwaters engulf me or the depths swallow me up or the pit close its mouth over me. 16 Answer me, Lord, out of the goodness of your love; in your great mercy turn to me. 17 Do not hide your face from your servant; answer me quickly, for I am in trouble. 18 Come near and rescue me; deliver me because of my foes. 19 You know how I am scorned, disgraced and shamed; all my enemies are before you. 20 Scorn has broken my heart and has left me helpless; I looked for sympathy, but there was none, for comforters, but I found none. 21 They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst. 22 May the table set before them become a snare; may it become retribution and a trap. 23 May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see, and their backs be bent forever. 24 Pour out your wrath on them; let your fierce anger overtake them. 25 May their place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in their tents. 26 For they persecute those you wound and talk about the pain of those you hurt. 27 Charge them with crime upon crime; do not let them share in your salvation. 28 May they be blotted out of the book of life and not be listed with the righteous. 29 But as for me, afflicted and in pain— may your salvation, God, protect me. 30 I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. 31 This will please the Lord more than an ox, more than a bull with its horns and hooves. 32 The poor will see and be glad— you who seek God, may your hearts live! 33 The Lord hears the needy and does not despise his captive people. 34 Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and all that move in them, 35 for God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah. Then people will settle there and possess it; 36 the children of his servants will inherit it, and those who love his name will dwell there.

As I read this Psalm, I can’t help but notice how David writes down all his emotions. He pours his heart out. Every last drop.

It’s actually a good practice. Too often we either ignore, bury or minimise our emotions. But here we see David take the time to slow down and let it all out before God in prayer.

I’m imagining that he is in a quiet space somewhere, where he has the freedom to express what he is truly feeling. He is totally overwhelmed. He’s sinking and he’s calling out for help. He wants revenge, he wants God to punish his enemies. Blot them out Lord! There. He said it. He said what was really on his heart.

Do you know what’s interesting?

This psalm is written down but it’s written to a tune. David is singing this. It seems strange to consider his heart ache as an offering to the Lord.

Have you ever considered the same could be said for you? That as you express your true emotions before the Lord, He doesn’t despise them or reject them but receives them. He receives your emotions. He receives your heart.

And look what happens after the Lord receives David’s heart: there’s a noticeable change. We can see in the last part of this Psalm, from verses 30-36, David is now praising God. He knows that God has heard him and his heart is filled with hope again.

Lord, I thank you that we can come to You. May we be honest with ourselves and You about our emotions, even the ones that are uncomfortable. As You take my emotions, fill my heart with Your hope and peace again.

Written by Gab Martin

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Friday 27 August, 2021

Psalm 68

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm. A song. 1 May God arise, may his enemies be scattered; may his foes flee before him. 2 May you blow them away like smoke— as wax melts before the fire, may the wicked perish before God. 3 But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful. 4 Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him—his name is the Lord. 5 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. 6 God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land. 7 When you, God, went out before your people, when you marched through the wilderness, 8 the earth shook, the heavens poured down rain, before God, the One of Sinai, before God, the God of Israel. 9 You gave abundant showers, O God; you refreshed your weary inheritance. 10 Your people settled in it, and from your bounty, God, you provided for the poor. 11 The Lord announces the word, and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng: 12 “Kings and armies flee in haste; the women at home divide the plunder. 13 Even while you sleep among the sheep pens, the wings of my dove are sheathed with silver, its feathers with shining gold.” 14 When the Almighty scattered the kings in the land, it was like snow fallen on Mount Zalmon. 15 Mount Bashan, majestic mountain, Mount Bashan, rugged mountain, 16 why gaze in envy, you rugged mountain, at the mountain where God chooses to reign, where the Lord himself will dwell forever? 17 The chariots of God are tens of thousands and thousands of thousands; the Lord has come from Sinai into his sanctuary. 18 When you ascended on high, you took many captives; you received gifts from people, even from the rebellious— that you, Lord God, might dwell there. 19 Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. 20 Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death. 21 Surely God will crush the heads of his enemies, the hairy crowns of those who go on in their sins. 22 The Lord says, “I will bring them from Bashan; I will bring them from the depths of the sea, 23 that your feet may wade in the blood of your foes, while the tongues of your dogs have their share.” 24 Your procession, God, has come into view, the procession of my God and King into the sanctuary. 25 In front are the singers, after them the musicians; with them are the young women playing the timbrels. 26 Praise God in the great congregation; praise the Lord in the assembly of Israel. 27 There is the little tribe of Benjamin, leading them, there the great throng of Judah’s princes, and there the princes of Zebulun and of Naphtali. 28 Summon your power, God; show us your strength, our God, as you have done before. 29 Because of your temple at Jerusalem kings will bring you gifts. 30 Rebuke the beast among the reeds, the herd of bulls among the calves of the nations. Humbled, may the beast bring bars of silver. Scatter the nations who delight in war. 31 Envoys will come from Egypt; Cush[k] will submit herself to God. 32 Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth, sing praise to the Lord, 33 to him who rides across the highest heavens, the ancient heavens, who thunders with mighty voice. 34 Proclaim the power of God, whose majesty is over Israel, whose power is in the heavens. 35 You, God, are awesome in your sanctuary; the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Praise be to God!

Have you ever poured your heart out to God like David did in Ps 68? Not in complaining or petition but in praise. Raw, earnest, completely undivided in your focus to give Him praise. Have you ever shouted His praise at the top of your lungs or worshipped Him with ever ounce of strength? v4. Have you ever written your own Psalm of praise to God? Describing His magnificence, His love, His incredible power and His answers to your prayers in the most descriptive, vivid detail? v13. Have you ever declared, with razor-sharp faith, the promises of God so that others are inspired to worship? v19. Have you ever been so hungry to praise Him that you can barely extract yourself away from His presence and you sprint with desperate abandon to the next moment you can fall at His feet?

O Lord, to be a worshipper like Your servant David!

Written by Boudy van Noppen

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Thursday 26 August, 2021

Psalm 67

For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm. A song. 1 May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us— 2 so that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations. 3 May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you. 4 May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples with equity and guide the nations of the earth. 5 May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you. 6 The land yields its harvest; God, our God, blesses us. 7 May God bless us still, so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.

As I read this Psalm, I think to myself – how timely! In the midst of a pandemic, in the midst of global disasters, as wars rage on and it seems almost logical to despair – the question arises, what’s the answer to it all? What purpose or goodness could there be in the midst of such vast calamity?

Here the Psalmist gives us the answer – God Himself! God is the One who saves, God is the one who is just, God is the One who blesses and guides. Sometimes we might know this in our heads, but it is when we open up our hearts to Him in praise and thanksgiving that we actually experience these truths.

And so, what a timely reminder it is – that as we face lockdown and all sorts of personal and communal challenges – that God Himself is the answer to our woes. It is as we praise Him and open our hearts to Him that we find His blessing and favour pouring into our lives.

God, thank You that You are good. Thank You that You are in control. Thank You for caring about the smallest details of each of our lives, even in the midst of much bigger problems. We praise You for who You are, we trust You with all our hearts, and we ask that You would continue to have your way in our hearts and in this world. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Written by Ps. Matt Samperi

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Wednesday 25 August, 2021

Psalm 66

For the director of music. A song. A psalm. 1 Shout for joy to God, all the earth! 2 Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious. 3 Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies cringe before you. 4 All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing the praises of your name.” 5 Come and see what God has done, his awesome deeds for mankind! 6 He turned the sea into dry land, they passed through the waters on foot— come, let us rejoice in him. 7 He rules forever by his power, his eyes watch the nations— let not the rebellious rise up against him. 8 Praise our God, all peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard; 9 he has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping. 10 For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver. 11 You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. 12 You let people ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance. 13 I will come to your temple with burnt offerings and fulfill my vows to you— 14 vows my lips promised and my mouth spoke when I was in trouble. 15 I will sacrifice fat animals to you and an offering of rams; I will offer bulls and goats. 16 Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. 17 I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue. 18 If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; 19 but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. 20 Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!

Genesis tells us that God SPOKE the world into existence.  God’s spoken word is a creative force.  As God’s people, made in His image – our words (both spoken and written) are a creative force in the earth. 

We need the fear of God to come upon our mouths – how we speak/write. Proverbs 18 v 21 says that we can sow life or death by the power of the tongue.  James 3 encourages us to seriously consider how we speak/write.

I believe that we need great wisdom to not get “sucked into” the world’s way of commenting, opinions, or banter; but to truly Fear God in what we say or write.  What and How we say things can create LIFE or DEATH into situations.

As a “talker”, I have been asking God to help me to listen first, to shut my mouth more, and to speak God’s words; not my voice but HIS; into situations.  I found that last year I needed to retreat off social media.  I couldn’t bear the way people spoke/wrote to each other or “voiced” their opinions about world situations. 

This Psalm says:  Shout, Sing, Tell, Say,….

V 16: “Come and listen, all YOU who fear God, and I will tell you what He did for me.”

I want to encourage us to speak of God’s wonderful work, to praise Him and sow life rather than death.

When we choose to speak/write let us always filter it as though Jesus was standing beside us?

When we choose to praise God and speak like Jesus – V 19: “God did listen.  He paid attention to my prayer.”

I want HIM to HEAR my PRAYER……and answer it.

Lord, make my words be like yours – salted with kindness, goodness, love and grace.  Give me wisdom when I speak or write.  I want your Kingdom to be displayed through me.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Written by Ps. Sue Botta

1 (reply)
  1. Richard says:

    Ps. Sue – love your heart and thoughts here. At SOAP this morning I wrote these thoughts.

    “18 If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. 19 But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer.”

    These are powerful verses. The are so incredibly instructive. The power of sin is more than we ever imagine. Here we learn it has the ability to interrupt our communication with God. That is an interesting truth, an uncomfortable truth. I love that this truth is shared with us so that we not let sin infect us and remain – cherish – is a word of indulgence where I chose to keep sin in my world.

    Then truth about God listening to our prayer comes through – God is listening and He does things as a result of my prayer, your prayer – which is a powerful promise!

    So let me not indulge sin in my heart, Let me pray with expectancy.

    Father thank You that You hear and listen to my prayer and do something about it!

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Tuesday 24 August, 2021

Psalm 65

For the director of music. A psalm of David. A song. 1 Praise awaits you, our God, in Zion; to you our vows will be fulfilled. 2 You who answer prayer, to you all people will come. 3 When we were overwhelmed by sins, you forgave our transgressions. 4 Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts! We are filled with the good things of your house, of your holy temple. 5 You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds, God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas, 6 who formed the mountains by your power, having armed yourself with strength, 7 who stilled the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the turmoil of the nations. 8 The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy. 9 You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly. The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so you have ordained it. 10 You drench its furrows and level its ridges; you soften it with showers and bless its crops. 11 You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance. 12 The grasslands of the wilderness overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness. 13 The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing.

I love how this psalm describes the power and majesty of God. We are shown how God is the promise keeper and sustainer of all things.

I read in the first part of the psalm how God is the one who answers prayer, allows vows to be fulfilled, and forgives our transgressions. It is such encouragement to know the spiritual might of God reflected here. I need to remind myself that the unseen things like vows, prayers and sin have an impact on my life which can outwardly manifest in the physical world. I should not ignore them but instead bring them before God, knowing He is the one who blesses, answers, fulfills, and forgives.

The remainder of the psalm shows how God is the almighty Creator. It demonstrates His wisdom and works in keeping the earth alive and sustained. Everything on the earth serves the purpose of glorifying and making God known. It’s filled with His wonders and deliberate purpose. He is the potter, maker, creator, author, designer, originator, producer, initiator, composer, ordainer and much, much more.

How should I respond to all this? By glorifying God; making him known to all around me through praise and love. As the old saying goes ‘it is not the gift of the lover we only consider, but the love of the giver.’

Thank you, God, that you are the promise-keeper and sustainer of all things. We give you praise and long to draw near you. Thank you for all creation that you have set in place. Forgive us when we forget to reflect your just love to others. Help cleanse our hearts of everything not for You. As we see the world around us and know how much you care for it, may our hearts turn towards you. In your precious name, Jesus.  Amen.

Written by Sven Bessesen

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Monday 23 August, 2021

Psalm 64

For the director of music. A psalm of David. 1 Hear me, my God, as I voice my complaint; protect my life from the threat of the enemy. 2 Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked, from the plots of evildoers. 3 They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim cruel words like deadly arrows. 4 They shoot from ambush at the innocent; they shoot suddenly, without fear. 5 They encourage each other in evil plans, they talk about hiding their snares; they say, “Who will see it[b]?” 6 They plot injustice and say, “We have devised a perfect plan!” Surely the human mind and heart are cunning. 7 But God will shoot them with his arrows; they will suddenly be struck down. 8 He will turn their own tongues against them and bring them to ruin; all who see them will shake their heads in scorn. 9 All people will fear; they will proclaim the works of God and ponder what he has done. 10 The righteous will rejoice in the Lord and take refuge in him; all the upright in heart will glory in him!

This begins like a lot of psalms. David tells God that things are wrong. David’s under attack (again). He firmly expects that God will make things right. Complaining to God sounds odd, but it seems God loves his honest faith and complete dependence.

But in this psalm, the weapons used against David are words. His enemies’ swords are their tongues, intent on cutting him down. They use cruel words to wound, like arrows. It’s deliberate – no momentary flash of anger – prepared, planned and deliberately targeted. David is looking for exquisite justice – their own cutting tongues turned back against them – brought down by God’s arrows.

I’m struck by the similarities to how Paul tells us to fight in the spiritual battle in Ephesians 6 – and by a significant difference.

The evil one (also called “the devil” – “the accuser”) also fires his fiery arrows at us. But God gives us the “shield of faith” – not faith in truths (that’s a belt around our waist), but faith in a person – Jesus, who is the truth. He stands between us, and the accusations rightly aimed at us, and he takes them on himself all the way to the cross.

The sword is a word here, too – the sword of the spirit – God’s spoken word. It doesn’t bring death; it brings life. It doesn’t cut down; it builds up. It’s not a tool of hate but of God’s healing love.

Our human enemies may deserve to have their hateful, harmful words turned back on them, but our battle isn’t against them. Jesus wants to save them as much as he wants to save us.  So, what will be on my lips? The hurtful words I hear, or Jesus – the Word who stepped into our world, full of grace (John 1)?

Jesus, thanks that you take onto yourself the accusations that are rightly aimed at me. Your grace is far more exquisite than any form of justice I could imagine.

Written by David Cornell

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Sunday 22 August, 2021

Psalm 63

A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah. 1 You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. 2 I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. 3 Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. 4 I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. 5 I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. 6 On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. 7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. 8 I cling to you; your right hand upholds me. 9 Those who want to kill me will be destroyed; they will go down to the depths of the earth. 10 They will be given over to the sword and become food for jackals. 11 But the king will rejoice in God; all who swear by God will glory in him, while the mouths of liars will be silenced.

This Psalm has a unique effect on me, it strips away the many layers of my life. I imagine all the things that I love in life being removed… the comforts of living in Australia, my good health, my friendships, my family, my sense of purpose and identity. It takes me to a parched land, barren, isolated and empty. The writer of this Psalm had found himself literally in an environment like this, forced there by an enemy bent on destroying him.

It seems bizarre then that a Psalm that has this effect on me, then creates in me one of the deepest senses of peace I have experienced. This peace comes from knowing that with all else taken away, God remains… and his love is better than life itself! I discover that the foundation I stand on is my God. I find a space that can be hidden by both the blessings and pains of life, the space of God’s sanctuary. His glory and power touch me afresh and they are overwhelming. I discover praise is my purpose and I have all I need in the presence of my loving God.

O my God, whether I have much or little, I always have you and you are what my heart most craves.

Written by Andrew Mellor

2 replies
  1. Claire Moore says:

    “I will be fully satisfied “ says it all- God is all I need. As I search for meaning, peace, strength, understanding, identity, I find it all in Him.
    Thanks Andrew.

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