Despair. Grief. Fear. The disciples and followers of Jesus were feeling all of these things and more. Jesus had been put into the tomb. He was dead. That was the end of a good run. The people were wondering to themselves, “now what?” Their life had meaning when Jesus was alive. They followed him. They listened to him. They watched him do great things. And now he’s gone.
I wanted to imagine their feelings of lament. They hadn’t understood what he had said about the whole three day thing. It didn’t make sense in their context, so it was simply put out of mind. How would they find comfort? In each other? I’m sure they were all afraid for their own lives. After all, they were Jesus’ closest friends. Would they be next? Were they ready to die, too?
This psalm represents, for me, the epitome of trusting in God. The promise of protection and provision to those who trust Him is strong and assuring. Especially in these uncertain times, the reminder that God is our refuge is huge! Take a moment to just stop, close your eyes and imagine God doing this. “He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings.His faithful promises are your armor and protection.” I am so overcome by this. What peace knowing I have a protector.
What really screamed to me were all the references to a “deadly disease.” In my translation it was a “plague.” At the time I’m writing this, we are seeing a pandemic killing so many people around the world. There is death and fear running rampant. The vaccine can’t come soon enough for many of us who have not left our homes in months. And then I read these words, “For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease.” Brought me to tears.
“O Lord, I give my life to you. I trust in you, my God!” Have you ever given your life to God? I mean really given it? It’s a scary thing to do. Give control away, that is. Yet, giving my life to God was one of the best things I ever did. I struggle at times with taking it back thinking I know best. Sometimes I get anxious for things to happen and force things before it’s time.
When we truly let go and let God, it is then we can feel peace. The next line about being disgraced was curious to me at first. Don’t we all have fears of looking bad or being judged? It makes sense that the psalmist would add this in so quickly. We may know a bit of what it feels like to be shamed or disgraced because of our faithfulness. If we stay true to God, we will never be disgraced in his eyes, no matter what the world may tell us.
So much praising going on. It is such a delight to picture faithful ones singing and dancing while giving glory to God. Why is it that we don’t see more of that in our culture today? I’m not saying it’s not there at all. We’ve all seen how some groups and churches go all out with dancing, praise banners, and musical instruments.
What does your praise look like behind closed doors? Do you have a tambourine hidden in your closet for those moments when you go all out? “Let the faithful rejoice that he honors them. Let them sing for joy as they lie on their beds.” God honors the faithful. That is certainly something to put joy on our lips!
God is revealed in the truths of his Word! We are given a picture of who God is in this passage. With all of this proof, we can be sure there is a God. His creation can’t keep it secret! I enjoyed how the psalmist gave life to, personifies that is, the elements of creation. The day “speaks”, the sun is “a bridegroom” or “an athlete”. “Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world.” No matter where we are on the planet, we experience the same sky, sun, moon, and stars. The message is available for all of us!
There is a misconception here, however. We read that the sun moves causing the beginning and end of the day. That brought a smile to my face. Did you catch that, too? It is the sun, like God, who is stationary and allows us to move.