Our Father, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Read Psalm 108
1 My heart, O God, is steadfast;
I will sing and make music with all my soul.
2 Awake, harp and lyre!
I will awaken the dawn.
3 I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
I will sing of you among the peoples.
4 For great is your love, higher than the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
let your glory be over all the earth.
6 Save us and help us with your right hand,
that those you love may be delivered.
7 God has spoken from his sanctuary:
“In triumph I will parcel out Shechem
and measure off the Valley of Sukkoth.
8 Gilead is mine, Manasseh is mine;
Ephraim is my helmet,
Judah is my scepter.
9 Moab is my washbasin,
on Edom I toss my sandal;
over Philistia I shout in triumph.”
10 Who will bring me to the fortified city?
Who will lead me to Edom?
11 Is it not you, God, you who have rejected us
and no longer go out with our armies?
12 Give us aid against the enemy,
for human help is worthless.
13 With God we will gain the victory,
and he will trample down our enemies.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“O Father, this day may bring some hard task to our life… But, Father, our whole life until now has been one great proof of Thy care” (Robert Collyer,1823–1912).
Many of us are used to cutting and pasting sections of documents in computer files. This Psalm 108 takes Psalm 57:7–11 and follows it with Psalm 60:5–12. Why? Partly, we can understand that the psalms, as the hymn book of God’s people, needed to respond to different situations over time. Worshiping in my local church, I am aware how some of the old hymns (which I knew in my youth!) are used again with different tunes and interwoven with new words.
More significantly, however, we note how the praise ending of Psalm 57 is used at the beginning of Psalm 108. Psalm 57 begins with David’s cry for help because, according to the superscription, he’s in a cave fleeing from Saul. After his desperate plea, he ends with reassurance of God’s love. It’s natural when you are in trouble to begin with trouble! Many other psalms do that. However, in Psalm 108 even though David is in deep trouble again he begins with praise. Only after exulting in God’s glory does he repeat verses from Psalm 60 about his desperate need to be safe and reach his destination in a fortified city in Edom. What a challenge when we face problems to begin with praising God!
In The Sermon as Symphony, Mike Graves suggests that we should respond to Scripture’s mood and movements by imagining its musical accompaniment. What do we hear? This psalm’s
upbeat beginning needs full orchestra and choir, like a powerful burst of Handel’s Messiah: “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee” (Isa. 60:1, AV). This reassuring commitment to God’s love and power then sustains the psalmist through the dark minor key tones as he sends out a Mayday call for help. Desperate prayers that focus first on God are transformed and can end: “With God we will gain the victory” (13).
Can you intentionally begin your next prayers with upbeat praise when you are facing a hard task?
Lord, as the psalmist says, “Let thy glory be above all the earth” (5), but let that glory begin in my individual heart.