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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Today’s Reading | Psalm 47

Clap your hands, all you peoples;
     shout to God with loud songs of joy.
For the Lord, the Most High, is awesome,
     a great king over all the earth.
He subdued peoples under us, and nations under our feet.
He chose our heritage for us,
     the pride of Jacob whom he loves. Selah

God has gone up with a shout,
the Lord with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises;
sing praises to our King, sing praises.
For God is the king of all the earth;
sing praises with a psalm.

God is king over the nations;
God sits on his holy throne.
The princes of the peoples gather
as the people of the God of Abraham.
For the shields of the earth belong to God;
he is highly exalted. (NRSV)


The writer of Psalm 47 is beckoning us to clap, shout, and sing because God is king over the nations. Reading this I asked, what is my emotional response to the idea that God is a great king who rules over the nations? Cynicism quickly surfaced. God is doing a lousy job. Daily people are killing each other. Hourly people are dying of curable sickness. By the minute children are being born into resourceless communities. By the second money lenders are charging such high interest rates that people are stuck in holes for decades. Where is the justice? How can I sing about God being our great king of the nations when the injustice feels overwhelming?

But then as I moved from the macro injustices around me to my micro world, I saw something. Yes, so much is wrong around me, yet within me, God is doing something. It isn’t necessarily newsworthy but it does testify to something. In December of 1997, God pressed on my life choices. I was living as king of my world and my life was a disaster. So, I get onto my knees and I told God I was done doing it my way. I was tired of my path. I wanted to go in God’s direction. There was no angelic chorus; no mysterious checks in the mail; no automatic regaining of trust of those around me I’d hurt; and no, my life did not become easier. But over the course of the last fifteen years God has been working in me. I am learning to be free from the weight of my sin (Romans 1:8). Justice is important to me; I love mercy; and I am starting to see the joy of walking with God in humility (Micah 6:8). I believe my life is changing because of my King. When I think about this I rejoice and sing, because I once was king and I was lost, but then by grace, a great and glorious King found me and that King saved me.


Heavenly Father, thank you for saving me from myself. Please continue to be my King today. Amen.

Written by Daniel Holladay, Senior High Youth Coordinator

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