Psalms 54, 115, 119:169–176
Pastor Lisa’s Journal
You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord! He is their help and their shield. – Psalm 115:11
Meister Eckhart said, ‘The ultimate leave-taking is the leaving of God for God.’ That means leaving the folk idea of God– the ecclesiastical idea of God, what you’ve been taught of God– for that transcendent reference of which God is the metaphor. – Joseph Campbell
Psalm 115 begins on a beautiful note of praise to the One, True Living God followed by a few phrases describing false idols: in-sensitive (note all five senses are mentioned), immobile, inanimate, mindless, and mute. Then you get to verse 8, a ridicule so sharp you may not realize you’ve even been cut. “Those who make them are like them; so are all who trust in them.” As one of the teens in my life might say, “Booya! In your face!”
I appreciate the earthiness of the scriptures, and their ageless truth. The warning of that ridicule is needed as much today as back then. So is the advice: turn from idols, trust in the Lord, trust in the Lord, and again the psalmist says trust in the Lord. The Lord is our help and shield from this time on and forevermore.
Prosperous people already know they matter. They are already so secure in their human dignity that they usually don’t give it much thought. It is the poor whose attempts to claim their own dignity — small, but often so costly — need affirming. It is the poor and the weak, who are most aware of the need for comfort and refreshment all of us have. When things are going your way, it’s easy to forget that you depend on God for everything you have. It’s easy to begin thinking you don’t, that your power resides in yourself. The powerlessness of all human beings shows clearly in the lives of the poor. The rich can hide from it — for a time. But there is nobody who will not one day find himself bearing a load too heavy to carry alone. None of us are self-sufficient, however strong or weak or rich or poor we may be. We are all in need of comfort, in need of refreshment. Blessed are those who know their need of it early; they are the ones who will put themselves in the way of the Comforter. – Barbara Cawthorne Crafton, “A Little Refreshment! A Little Comfort!” (www.Day1.org, 7/7/96)
Who or what do I turn to when I need help? Who/What do I trust? Friends, family, my bank account, warranties, my education, health insurance, the judicial system, the government, various professionals… myself? Do I trust in the Lord as my help or do I treat God as a consultant. Do I turn to God in all things, or only when I am in deep trouble?
Lord save us from all that is false: false teaching, false faith, false gods. Reveal their frailty. Remind us of your steadfast love and faithfulness. Remind us of your power and grace. Draw us – body, mind, and spirit- to deep devotion and trust in you. You alone are worthy of our confidence and worship. May your Name be glorified throughout the world, in every heart and home, now and always. Amen.
You are invited to join me on a summer adventure through one of the most beloved books in the Bible, Psalms. To download the Summer in the Psalms reading plan, click here Psalms Reading Plan
As you read, you are encouraged to use the SOAP Method for keeping a spiritual journal, as taught at New Hope Christian Fellowship in Hawaii. For more information on this simple and powerful way of engaging the Word of God, please click here or use the simple instructions provided in the reading plan itself.
I look forward to reading your comments and to all that Jesus will do in you and through you as you seek him this summer. – Lisa <><
PS- For more information on the scripture translation, art and the use of this devotional in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.