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Daily Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Thursday, February 24, 2022  

Today’s Scripture Reading  |  Psalm 99

The Lord is king; let the peoples tremble!
    He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!
The Lord is great in Zion;
    he is exalted over all the peoples.
Let them praise your great and awesome name.
    Holy is he!
Mighty King, lover of justice,
    you have established equity;
you have executed justice
    and righteousness in Jacob.
Extol the Lord our God;
    worship at his footstool.
    Holy is he!

Moses and Aaron were among his priests,
    Samuel also was among those who called on his name.
    They cried to the Lord, and he answered them.
He spoke to them in the pillar of cloud;
    they kept his decrees,
    and the statutes that he gave them.

O Lord our God, you answered them;
    you were a forgiving God to them,
    but an avenger of their wrongdoings.
Extol the Lord our God,
    and worship at his holy mountain;
    for the Lord our God is holy. (NRSV)

In my mind I always tend to separate the “Old Testament God” and the “New Testament God.” It’s an easy thing to do when you learn Bible stories growing up. The stories in the Old Testament reveal parts of God’s character that just don’t always easily fit with the stories and preaching of Jesus.

This psalm really flies in the face of that normal feeling. We do get some classic Old Testament language—“Let the peoples tremble” and “let the earth quake”—but we also have some language that fits the place and time we’re in at this moment. We worship a God who establishes justice and equity.

I find these moments to be reassuring—a reminder that God is constant, and while I may not always identify with the stories of the Old Testament, God’s justice and truth are present throughout these stories and scriptures.

It’s also a reminder that the fight for justice and equity have been ongoing for millennia. A reminder that these things are God’s hope for this world and that as God’s followers we must continue to keep these ideas in our hearts and actions. These ideas of equity and justice—“The last will be first” —are a truly radical, upending philosophy. But that is why the psalmist worshiped God 2,500 years ago and why we do so today.

Creator God, thank you for constancy in this world of chaos. Thank you for your equity and justice. Help me hold on to these ideas and fight for them in this world. Amen.

Written by Jared Light, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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