Great and wonderful are Your works, O Lord. I praise Your name for You are holy, mighty and good.
Read Psalm 108:1-13
 A song. A psalm of David.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers, but for power equal to your tasks” (Bishop Phillips Brooks 1835-1893).
This psalm best makes sense if it is appreciated that several different moods or voices are being expressed and deliberately held together in tension. The first voice, vs. 1-5, is a celebration of God’s love and faithfulness. The psalmist resolves to start the day with praise, and have no reticence about praising the God of Israel before nations and peoples generally. The second voice, vs. 7-9, depicts an oracle of God, spoken presumably in the Jerusalem temple. This pronounces his sovereignty not only over all the territory of Israel and Judah on both sides of the Jordan (7,8) but also over Israel’s often hostile neighbors (9). Israel’s God reigns supreme. Yet in a third voice, vs. 6,10-12, there is the longing that this supremacy would be realized, at a time when it appeared not to be. Indeed, far from leading Israel to triumph over her enemies, God appears to have abandoned her and given her no help at all (11); yet the psalmist recognizes that only in God is real strength and help to be found. So, fourthly, in v. 13 there is a concluding affirmation of trust: God will indeed aid his people and give them victory.
The psalm thus expresses a tension that is common in the life of faith–between confidence and joy in God and his promises, and the actual everyday situation one faces, which looks quite the opposite of what one might expect. It is easy to imagine Jeremiah living constantly with such tension. We find in this psalm, as in Jeremiah, a refusal to prematurely dissolve the tension, whether by insisting that everything is going well or by abandoning all hope that God could ever make any difference. The challenge is to neither glib hope nor despair but, rather, faithfulness.
If you’re perplexed about any situation, ask the Lord for wisdom. Also, consider seeking counsel from a mature Christian.
Lord, in the face of the ambiguities of life, help me trust Your perfect wisdom, love, and power. May You be the first I turn to when I need direction.
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