A Psalm for The Day

Psalm 8

O Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
2     Out of the mouth of babies and infants,
you have established strength because of your foes,
    to still the enemy and the avenger.

3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
    the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
    and the son of man that you care for him?

5 Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
    and crowned him with glory and honor.
6 You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
    you have put all things under his feet,
7 all sheep and oxen,
    and also the beasts of the field,
8 the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
    whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

9 O Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!


Lord, our Lord! How majestic is your name in all of this earth. It doesn't seem that most people consider your name to be majestic. But it is! and it cannot be otherwise, for you alone are God.

You have set your glory above the heavens. It is other-worldly. It is not common to us.

And every. single. human. will take a knee when we behold your coming glory! 

But it is your patience and your long-suffering that restrain its coming and the judgment it will usher, in order that more may come to know you.

When I look to the skies, to the work of your fingers: the sun, the moon, and the stars and their rhythms; how they keep order to seasons, months, years, and time; how a black-out sun from the shadow of the moon speaks to an order and tempo set by you, it makes me feel small. And I am. We are.

To say that we originated from those same skies exploding billions of years ago to form this intricate world around us--bringing incomprehensible order from a fiery chaos--is a denial of your majesty. If man believes in explosion rather than design, he justifiably denies his own creator. He is able to live unaccountable to you and instead live entirely unto himself.

And that is how many live today--unto self.

O God, what is man that you are mindful of us?

How can you endure our scoffing at your majesty?

Who is man that you care for us and even care about us?

Yet you made us a little lower than the angels. You crowned us with glory and honor. You gave us something we did not possess apart from you, something we did not deserve. You gave us dominion over creatures and land: to care for and to steward.

But we have not done right with this glory.  Rather than reflect it back to you, we have kept it for ourselves. Collectively, we humans shake a fist at our creator. We give no honor and majesty to the glory that is due you. 

But it is your way to confound the proud with small things. Through the mouths of babies and infants -- through these, you establish strength. You will silence your enemies, with the words --and perhaps the blood-- of babies and infants.

May these things not be so of your people. Let us bear your name with glory and honor, reflecting back to you what you alone have bestowed on us.

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Amen.

 

 

Left Behind

See there, that gray day picture just below? See the smudges and smears left behind from little hands and pressed-down noses? That was what my window looked like on a day in 2015 when my husband left for his work trip.

He was off to someplace fun and I was left behind to wipe the noses. I was feeling sorry for myself. I always struggle to find joy in moments like these. And as I prayed for it to come, praise God, it did. I remember it, so as I often do, I took a picture or two.

I started to see beyond the smudges in the window and instead into the sky and I warmly knew that He knew. And He was with me even though I was somewhere that seemed to be so very small. And he slowly brought the joy I was lacking and comforted me by reminding me his eye is on the sparrow and I know he watches me.

Ironically, I later saw some pictures my husband took from one such trip, and my joy remained. Rather than being jealous or sad that I wasn't there to see what his eyes saw, I could be wowed by and enjoy the creative hand of God and truly be thankful that my husband got to see such beauty. This ability to have joy was truly from the Lord!

I was wowed because the same God that saw me through my smudged up window, saw him through the radiant clouds on an airplane. He knew. God knew. And He knows still! It testified to me about the power of the God I serve. His ability to KNOW and love his children so mightily no matter where they are, physically or spiritually.

It can be hard to be the one left behind. Maybe your health prohibits new adventures. Perhaps you are a keeper of the young...or perhaps a keeper of the old. There can be many reasons for being shut in, but this does not disqualify one from doing good works for the Lord, nor from worshiping and experiencing God's blessings. See David's example below:

1 Samuel 30:

20 He took all the flocks and herds, and his men drove them ahead of the other livestock, saying, “This is David’s plunder.”

21 Then David came to the two hundred men who had been too exhausted to follow him and who were left behind at the Besor Valley. They came out to meet David and the men with him. As David and his men approached, he asked them how they were. 22 But all the evil men and troublemakers among David’s followers said, “Because they did not go out with us, we will not share with them the plunder we recovered. However, each man may take his wife and children and go.”

23 David replied, “No, my brothers, you must not do that with what the Lord has given us. He has protected us and delivered into our hands the raiding party that came against us. 24 Who will listen to what you say? The share of the man who stayed with the supplies is to be the same as that of him who went down to the battle. All will share alike.” 25 David made this a statute and ordinance for Israel from that day to this.

Similar to Wendy's post on Monday, we will do well to remember that God is good all the time, no matter what window you look out from.

"I will lift up mine eyes
to the hills";
and when I fly
I will lift up my eyes
instead
to the sky;
it is the same
sure,
certain thing--
this quiet lifting up,
remembering...
I leave myself
awhile
to let my thoughts
explore
all He has made
and more;
returning
to my small load
at length,
calm,
reassured:
this
is my strength.
--Ruth Graham Bell

In Christ's love, erika