Psalms 68, 93, 135
Pastor Lisa’s Journal
Our God is a God of salvation, and to God, the Lord, belongs escape from death. – Psalm 68:20
Psalm 68 addresses God’s victory over enemies, with the list of enemies focusing much more on situations than on people or nations. These situations include: wickedness (vs. 2), violence and war (vs. 12, 14, 30), lack of drinking water (vs. 8-9), isolation (vs. 5), homelessness (vs. 6, 10), oppression and captivity (vs. 6, 18), and poverty (vs. 10). You could summarize the list by saying the enemy of God is death itself (vs. 20) – the death of relationship, peace and provision.
The power of God is rooted in salvation, not domination. People are not enemies. Death is the enemy. God’s power is resurrection power. Yes, these situations are often caused by human motivations and choices. But if we dig just a little, we find that those motivations and choices are based in a fear of death. Our common enemy is death, not God and not each other. Knowing this can bring us together, with God and each other, leading to salvation and solutions. Verse 35 reminds us that God “gives power and strength to his people;” power and strength to save, to come together to overcome the many faces of death in God’s strength and name.
1 Corinthians 54b-58 (NRSV)
Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
The following prayer is often attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, but that cannot be confirmed.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
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.