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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Today’s Reading | Psalm 92         

It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
   to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
to declare your steadfast love in the morning,
   and your faithfulness by night,
to the music of the lute and the harp,
   to the melody of the lyre.
For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work;
   at the works of your hands I sing for joy.

How great are your works, O Lord!
   Your thoughts are very deep!
The dullard cannot know,
   the stupid cannot understand this:
though the wicked sprout like grass
   and all evildoers flourish,
they are doomed to destruction forever,
   but you, O Lord, are on high forever.
For your enemies, O Lord,
   for your enemies shall perish;
   all evildoers shall be scattered.

But you have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox;
   you have poured over me fresh oil.
My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies;
   my ears have heard the doom of my evil assailants.

The righteous flourish like the palm tree,
   and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
They are planted in the house of the Lord;
   they flourish in the courts of our God.
In old age they still produce fruit;
   they are always green and full of sap,
showing that the Lord is upright;
   he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him. (NRSV)

I’ve often heard, “in the morning pray the help-me prayer and at night pray the thank-you prayer.” In this psalm, subtitled “A Song for the Sabbath Day,” we are told it is good to give thanks and sing praises, to declare God’s steadfast love in the morning and faithfulness by night.

Isn’t it wonderful that we are free to sing praises every day and at all times? The author of this psalm goes on to exclaim joy for the works of God’s hands and marvels at the depth of God’s thoughts. The author is not a Pollyanna, however: he knows that the wicked and evildoers flourish, but they are doomed to destruction.

The final verses lift the righteous to the heights of tree tops—the palms and the cedars. If we are aligned with God we are planted and flourish in the courts of the Lord where we can produce much fruit. However, the fruit is not to show how good we are but to show that the Lord is upright with no unrighteousness in him.

Upright and righteous God, help me each day to sing your praises and to thank you for the works of your hands. Amen.

Written by Roger Wilson, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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