Third Sunday after Epiphany, January 24

Reader: “Let all that I am wait quietly before God,”    

Response: “for my hope is in him.”

Scripture: Psalm 62:5-12

Let all that I am wait quietly before God,

    for my hope is in him.

He alone is my rock and my salvation,

    my fortress where I will not be shaken.

My victory and honor come from God alone.

    He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.

O my people, trust in him at all times.

    Pour out your heart to him,

    for God is our refuge.  

Common people are as worthless as a puff of wind,

    and the powerful are not what they appear to be.

If you weigh them on the scales,

    together they are lighter than a breath of air.

Don’t make your living by extortion

    or put your hope in stealing.

And if your wealth increases,

    don’t make it the center of your life.

God has spoken plainly,

    and I have heard it many times:

Power, O God, belongs to you;

    unfailing love, O Lord, is yours.

Surely you repay all people

    according to what they have done.

Reader: “The word of the Lord.”

Response: “Thanks be to God.” 

Some thoughts:
The first sentence of this passage could very easily be a “life verse.” Those words put everything regarding the portion of life that we live on this earth into perspective. It is the most sublime place of rest. Have you ever noticed how much waiting there is in the Bible? Noah waited a 100 years for the flood he knew was coming; Abraham waited twenty-five years for Isaac; Rebekah and Rachel waited for children; Israelites endured 430 years of slavery before the Exodus; then wandered forty years in the wilderness while the older unfaithful generation died off; Zechariah and Elizabeth waited an entire lifetime for a son of their own; Jesus waited another two days after receiving word that Lazarus was very ill before he went to the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus; the early believers were told by Jesus to wait in Jerusalem to receive power on high; God is waiting now before sending his Son to establish his kingdom and bring this world to and end. God is giving people time to repent and receive forgiveness for their sins.

As I write today’s devotional in mid-September, things are generally pretty intense in our country. Politics is hitting its full nasty stride. People are going out of their way to write pointed tart messages to whoever will read what they write. Some longtime friendships are experiencing stress as a result. Then in contrast, we have this beautiful focusing sentence! There is no fear here. God is my rock and my salvation. 

There is a line in the old German hymn, “If Thou But Suffer God to Guide Thee,” that has been translated, “built on the rock that naught can move.” I love that translation because it is so perfect. NOTHING can move God. He is the source of everything in existence. Whatever is going on in the country where you live (we’ve just had an inauguration -hopefully- in the US), King David wrote these words, “O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge.” No one arrives in a position of power without God allowing it. He sets up kings and removes them. Again, David’s words, “The powerful are not what they appear to be.” “Power, O God belongs to you; unfailing love, O Lord, is yours. Surely you repay all people according to what they have done.” “Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.” Come Lord Jesus, I am waiting. God is our source of hope, not human beings or human leaders.

Music: “In God is My Salvation”    Ole Miss Men’s Glee Club

“If Thou But Suffer God to Guide Thee”     Calvin Alumni Choir

Prayer:Father in heaven, who hast brought us to this day, let the peace of Thy love descend upon us. May every stormy passion be subdued, every unquiet thought cast out, every earthly care and anxiety forgotten that in the calm of Thy loving Presence we may find a remedy for our souls’ unrest, and in Thy loving-kindness an answer to our every need; for the sake of Thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.     ―Source Unknown, The Quiet Corner, p.91