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?
I have a recurring dream. It’s the deadline, and the important biology project that I said that I’d do for my teacher has been hardly started. I am desperately scrabbling to get something written – but I know it’s too late. I am in trouble. I haven’t done what I’ve said that I would do.
Keeping my promise. Keeping my promise to do the important thing. This really matters. It seems to really matter to God – let’s have a look at Psalm 50
1 The Mighty One, God, the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to where it sets. 2 From Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth. 3 Our God comes and will not be silent; a fire devours before him, and around him a tempest rages.
God, the God, the Lord, He’s coming, and He’s got something to say. We better listen up… verse 8:
8 I bring no charges against you concerning your sacrifices or concerning your burnt offerings, which are ever before me.
God knows that His people Israel keep sacrificing, they are doing the religious stuff just fine. God doesn’t seem to be too bothered. But as we go on, we see what the problem is:
‘What right have you to recite my laws or take my covenant on your lips? 17 You hate my instruction and cast my words behind you.
These people are good at religious activity – and they know how to talk about God’s laws and God’s ways of living. But, and it’s a big but – there is one problem – they don’t follow through. They don’t do what they say they will do. They talk about God’s laws, but ignore them. But in the middle of the psalm is the answer, the thing that God is looking for from you and from me. Verses 14-15 say:
14 ‘Sacrifice thank-offerings to God, fulfil your vows to the Most High, 15 and call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honour me.’
Say thank you and FULFIL YOUR VOWS. Do what you have said you will do. That’s it. When the rubber hits the road – will I fulfill the promises I have made to God? Will I follow through? Or will I let the pressure of circumstances push me to forget them?
It’s easier to say than to do – but it is fairly straightforward. God, help me to keep my promises to you.
And then God promises in verse 15 – call on me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver you.
May you and I fulfill our vows to God today. Much love, Matt