Friday, May 21

Reader: “We put our hope in the Lord.”

Response: “He is our help and our shield.”

Scripture: Psalm 33:12-22           

What joy for the nation whose God is the Lord,

    whose people he has chosen as his inheritance.

The Lord looks down from heaven

    and sees the whole human race.

 From his throne he observes

    all who live on the earth.

He made their hearts,

    so he understands everything they do.

The best-equipped army cannot save a king,

    nor is great strength enough to save a warrior.

 Don’t count on your warhorse to give you victory—

    for all its strength, it cannot save you.

But the Lord watches over those who fear him,

    those who rely on his unfailing love.

 He rescues them from death

    and keeps them alive in times of famine.

We put our hope in the Lord.

    He is our help and our shield.

 In him our hearts rejoice,

    for we trust in his holy name.

Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord,

    for our hope is in you alone.

Reader: “The word of the Lord.”

Response: “Thanks be to God.”

Some thoughts:    

Read the first sentence again. Wouldn’t it be wonderful? Can you imagine? “What joy for the nation whose God is the Lord, whose people he has chosen as his inheritance.” Some day when the Lord returns, yes. But alas, we live among a rebellious people who have no care or fear of the Lord. Yet the Lord looks down from heaven and sees the whole human race. He doesn’t see a mass of people, he sees individuals. He knows what’s in their hearts and he knows everything they do. Though God generally stays out of directly intervening into people’s lives and choices, he is very aware of everything going on in a person’s life. God is not distant. 

In uncertain times even the best equipped army cannot save compared to the Lord’s saving power. Human beings are not the ultimate answer to solving problems and threats. For the Lord watches over you and me as those who fear him. When we rely on his unfailing love, we are in the perfect place. The Lord is our help and our shield in times of struggle and uncertainty.

It is no mystery that the United States is in the midst of great unrest and a power struggle for control of the government and consequently control of the people. Then we read this psalm and are reminded of the certainty of God understanding every heart of every person, for he made them! He knows the heart that is working against him seeking to destroy his work in the world. He is sovereign. Our ultimate confidence is in our Lord in the midst of uncertainty. As the psalmist says, “We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield.”

How does that work? Rather than becoming more upset or worried with each new intrusion or godless endeavor by those in rebellion against God, we turn to the Lord and converse with him in prayer reminding ourselves “he understands everything they do.” God is not disinterested in this world and nothing is a surprise to him. Pray and rest in him. He’s God after all!

Music:  “God and God Alone”   Steve Green     A classic from the past!

Bonus:  “How Excellent Thy Name” from  Saul  Handel     Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Prayer:  O Lord Jesus Christ, who wast moved with compassion for all who had gone astray, with indignation for all who suffered wrong: inflame our hearts with the burning fire of thy love, that with thee we may seek out the lost, with thee have mercy on the fallen and with thee stand fast for truth and righteousness; both now and always. O God of all goodness, whose greatest gifts are thy simplest gifts, bestowed on all men; give us thy blessings, love and peace, and gladness of heart, health of body and mind, and the joy of serving thee. Amen.          ―Prayers for Sunday Services, p.57