Thursday, February 22, 2018

Psalm 122

Summary: David is excited to go to Jerusalem, where the nation gathers at God's Temple. He prays that there be peace there.

Response: I honestly hear joy in this voice and a lack of David wanting other people dead. I wonder what it is about that place that changes him so. Maybe it is that the temple is there; maybe that the assembly (including defenseless women and children) is there; honestly, I'm not sure I have a good answer as to "why."

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Psalm 121

Summary: The psalmist is confident God is with us for our protection and will not fail.

Response: Now this confidence I can get behind. Lord, be my Protector, and help me to trust in Your protection.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Psalm 120

Summary: The psalmist gets an answer from God. At present, he has been living among foreigners, those who love lying and war.

Response: So compassion fatigue is a thing; I've experienced it myself, where there's little empathy left for those who fail me time and again. But that's not how God operates. If mercy is new for the writer, it's new even for those who have turned away. Which is good, because sometimes I'm one of those people.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Psalm 140

(oops, I went too far. I'll jump back next time)

Summary: David needs God's protection from people who would destroy him with words or actions. He feels like that kind of person has it in for him. He asks God for protection against such attacks. David finishes as usual, that the wicked suffer and die.

Response: Working past that last section, I hear David asking for protection from bad things, but I don't hear him asking God to make the bad things stop. I often overthink things, but I don't think this is one of those times. I wonder what I have been trying to avoid in my life instead of going with God's protection.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Something Different: I Am In My Right Place

[From The Art of Musicianship, hornist and educator Philip Farkas:]

For many years now, just before going out to perform, I have read a little page taken from a booklet [...] that I have found to be inspiring and confidence building. [....] It will reaffirm why you are here, what your abilities are, and why yours is an exalted work.

 I Am In My Right Place
"The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me..."
                                                           - Psalm 138:8.

         I am now the person God intended me to be. I am now
fulfilling my divine destiny in perfect ways under grace. I am
here where the One has placed me, doing what He has given
me to do, in the way He has shown me to do it. When it
needs to be done in new ways, He will prompt me to do it
His way. All results are in His hand, therefore, I will rejoice
in what I do and bless the way it is done.                               

        God, who loves and appreciates me as His own expres-
sion, is everywhere evenly present, approving the work He is
doing by means of me, for He has placed Himself at the
center of every man's being. He is over all His works and
whatsoever He doeth is perfect. Nothing can be added to it
and nothing can be taken from it, for God doeth it. He will
instruct me and teach me in the way I shall go; He will guide
me with His eye.                                                              

                                                                          Anita Scofield

[So it's not perfect, but that's okay. I have openly admitted recently that I operate from a place of doubt. And it's true in some ways; I'm not often confident in my work, and I'm much more likely to be mad at myself for failures than someone else for theirs. But I'm trying to believe God when He says I'm worth it, and I think I'm getting better at that day by day.]

Psalm 119 (tav)


Summary: Psalmist loves and follows commands, needs God to help him out.

Response: I wonder if there's a purposeful disconnect here: that doing what God says is the right thing to do, but it doesn't save us; that that job goes to God Himself.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Psalm 119 (shin)

Summary: The psalmist works hard at having a healthy respect for the Law. He sees how following it is a life of great reward.

Response: I want to have this love of God's Word, that all else is, without it, lacking in meaning or context.