"It has been said that somewhere in the Psalms can be found a reflection of virtually every religious experience known to man, and the person familiar with the Psalter can find balm for every wound." Anthony Ash quoted that, however he admits that this statement may not be strictly true, but it does reflect the high regard for the Psalms from those who have experienced camaraderie and good-fellowship with the authors.
Within Psalms, we find a blending of theology, worship, and daily living. One of my favorite psalms is 46 and begins with these words, "God is our refuge and strength, and ever present help in trouble." This psalm covers three troubling areas: natural disasters, political upheaval, and battle fatigue. During any of these events, we may lose sight that God remains aware of circumstances and remains in control, never to dethroned.
The third stanza portrays war and battle fatigue, and God gives directions near the end. He says to the weary, "Be still, and know that I am God." That seems a daunting request when worry assaults as fast as a Ninja. However, for those who accept the challenge and stop worry, they find solace and anchorage for their souls because God keeps his promises.
Through media, we’re bombarded with disturbing news, in our backyards and abroad. Shellshock has taken on a new definition. In our day, we experience virtual shellshock.
Who doesn’t need a break from warfare? My heart breaks for the citizens of countries who actually live the headlines, news stories of rebellion, street attacks, and revolution. If you need a refreshing break from worldwide chaos or hometown commotion, take a deep drink from the Psalms this week. You can choose from 150 psalms.
In 1529, the 46th psalm inspired Martin Luther to write the words and music to a well-known hymn. You may recognize the first phrase "A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing." The same psalm that inspired Luther still instructs today’s believers.
"Be still, and know I am God," isn't a take-it-or-leave-it instruction. It's a gentle invitation to bring about blessings through participation. This week, we could pray that phrase for the troops from our community, military personnel worldwide, President Obama, this country, and our enemies.
Lean on the strong shoulders of the psalms for comfort, resolve to be still, and depend upon God to perform his promises. Join me in an act of humility as we admit our smallness in prayer, “You, O God, are eons beyond our imaginations. We trust your unfolding destiny for this earth and for us.”
Hunger for Humility (Week 37): “In my alarm, I said, ‘I’m cut off from your sight!’ Yet you heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help.” (Psalm 31:22)