Daily Devotions

Trusting God’s Power to Bring Peace

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"The Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed in majesty and is armed with strength." (Psalm 93:1)

 

Psalm 93 is part of a larger collection of enthronement psalms. At heart, the theological claim is that "the Lord is king" (v. 1). It is a king's duty to provide a just and righteous way that cares for the king's subjects. The Psalm expresses the king's power and sovereignty through remembrance of God's majesty in the past - specifically, in the Israelite slaves being saved through God's parting of the waters. The controlling of the waters in the parting of the sea saved the faithful from an earthly death. And on a cosmic level, God defeats universal chaos, by taming the sea and its monstrous gods.

 

When we enact justice and righteousness, we bring God's creative intent to our world. When justice and righteousness are enacted by each of us, evil chaos is disrupted on a cosmic level. While evil is all around us, we can trust God because the Lord is robed in majesty and armed in strength. God will arm us with justice and righteousness, so we can take part in God's transformation of the world.

 

Today, honor God by reading the news with an eye on faith. As you look at the news on TV, online, or in the paper, pray over issues of injustice. For example, pray for the five Israeli people stabbed this weekend. But also pray for the Palestinian people, many of whom mistakenly believe that violence is the proper response to the injustice they experience daily. Then include in your prayer, a moment where you reaffirm your belief in God's power and majesty. Contemplate God's vast, transcendent power, recognizing God's ultimate ability to bring God's divine plan of healing and justice to our lost and broken world. Finally, picture what our world will look like, when God's plan for the peace and justice is realized. Envision Israeli and Palestinian families living and working on the same Kibbutz (Israeli community settlement). With God's power, majesty, and hunger for righteousness, that day will certainly come.

A Fine Line Between Stupid and Wise

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"The dullard cannot know, the stupid cannot understand this." (Psalm 92:6)

 

 The Psalm reflects God's will for a righteous ordering of our world, and its people. The order of the world is based on the centrality of the Sabbath. The Sabbath is based on offering thanksgiving to God. Those who are wise, honor the Sabbath and offer thanksgiving to God. The "dullard" and the "stupid" snub God by ignoring the Sabbath.

 Fifty years ago the vast majority of Christian people simply affirmed faith in Jesus Christ, without much question. In our contemporary American society, faith in Christ is no longer a given, even among those who were raised in the faith. While the Psalm speaks of joy and gladness associated with God's work, too many people have experienced the wicked at the Sabbath. Gossip, pettiness, inflated egos have distorted the Sabbath experience to such a degree, that people now fail to recognize God's sovereignty amidst the hypocrisy.

 Most of us have been disappointed by the hypocrisy of the faith community at one time or another. Calling these people "dullards" or "stupid" would be an insult to dullards and the stupid around the world. Yet, God continues to call us to live out our faith in the "body of Christ," the Church. Our faithful trust in God is what God is counting on, to heal a broken Church. Rather than continually look for the perfect church, perhaps God is calling you to be the one to heal the imperfect congregation.

 Our lives do not belong to ourselves. The dullard and the stupid believe they can handle their own lives. The wise know that only God has the power, wisdom, and compassion to properly administer our lives, our world and the entire cosmos. Today, think about your power, wisdom, and compassion. Are you wise enough to meet every eventuality? Are you wise enough to perfectly address every situation, including death? Finally, are you compassionate enough to take on the every single person's suffering? Then pray for God to guide you in the humility necessary to embrace God anew, and express your faith in honoring the Sabbath through regular worship.

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