Darkness and Light
Pray: Mighty God, You are the great liberator. Your Word is powerful and sets me free. Speak that word now.
Read: Psalm 18:1-50
Consider: “O thou Good Omnipotent, who so carest for every one of us as if thou carest for him alone, and so for all as if all were but one” (Augustine).
Think Further: This psalm, one of the royal psalms, gives a template for what might have been. The description of David’s troubles, described in cosmic terms (4,5), could equally apply to his descendant, Zedekiah. If only Zedekiah and his predecessors could have responded like David, who “cried to [his] God for help” (6), the story might have been different. Instead they looked to Egypt and to the lies of their false prophets. Then came the exile.
For David, the answer to his prayer was a sense of participation in the awe-inspiring cosmic magnificence of God (7-15). This God who shakes the very universe to its roots is the same God who rescues David and brings him to a place of safety, away from the danger of ambush by his enemies (19). If only Zedekiah and his advisers could have known that sense of the loving power of God.
Yet there is something about the being and doing of God that remains mysterious. He “shields all who take refuge in him” (30), but also remains shrouded from humanity (9,11). God responds as we search for him as purely and faithfully as we can (20-27), and yet it is God, and not our piety, which saves (19,27,28). God destroys the house of David in the final defeat of Zedekiah by Nebuchadnezzar and remains faithful to his promised “love to his anointed, to David and to his descendants forever” (50). Jeremiah foresaw this in his promise of an end to the exile. We now see it more fully revealed in the person of Jesus, son of David, who has rescued us, but still we long for the time when we no longer see God “through a glass, darkly” but “face to face” (1 Cor. 16:22b).
Apply: Thank God that one day, all that which is now strange or troubling will be made clear.
Closing Prayer: Lord, as I come before You today, I desire purity of heart, integrity of life, and a deep love for You and for all those around me.
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