The first casualties of upheaval can be love, kindness, and patience. But crisis is also a moment when love for God & one another can spring up. For 150 days, starting on 17th March 2020, I will write 300 words based on one of the 150 psalms in the bible. How can I find and give love in the midst of coronavirus?
Lord of the Rings.
Back to the Future.
What do they have in common? They come in 3 parts. Each part is different, but connected.
Psalm 108 is both a bit peculiar and comes in 3 parts – that don’t immediately appear connected.
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.
This seems straightforward. My heart is steadfast because I am choosing to praise God whose love is so great. We could just stop here – it is great stuff.
But there is a part 2:
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 sceptre. 9 Moab is my washbasin, on Edom I toss my sandal; over Philistia I shout in triumph.’
What is going on here? David [yes, he’s back] is praying for deliverance for Israel. But then what’s with the helmet, sceptre, washbasin [curiously, Stephen Fry called his autobiography “Moab is my washpot”!] and sandal? Well, David is reminding himself who he is praying to – it’s the God of Israel (Manasseh, Ephraim and Judah) who also has authority over the nations of the world (Moab, Edom & Philistia).
Hang on though, what about part 3?
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 shall gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies.
He’s asking God for help, but knowing that God has rejected them before – because of their sin. It’s a plea for mercy – knowing that no-one else can help – but also knowing that it isn’t deserved. But, and it’s a big but, if God does turn up then there will be victory.
So, in summary – what is this epic trilogy about?
Part 1: Praise God will all your heart because of His love
Part 2: Remember that God has chosen you and is king of all the world
Part 3: Ask for his mercy because you have sinned, knowing that He will answer and will give the victory
Have a great day.