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Daily Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Friday, August 5, 2022  

Today’s Scripture Reading  |  Psalm 33:12–22

Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord,
    the people whom he has chosen as his heritage.

The Lord looks down from heaven;
    he sees all humankind.
From where he sits enthroned he watches
    all the inhabitants of the earth—
he who fashions the hearts of them all
    and observes all their deeds.
A king is not saved by his great army;
    a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
The war horse is a vain hope for victory,
    and by its great might it cannot save.

Truly the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him,
    on those who hope in his steadfast love,
to deliver their soul from death
    and to keep them alive in famine.

Our soul waits for the Lord;
    he is our help and shield.
Our heart is glad in him
    because we trust in his holy name.
Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
    even as we hope in you. (NRSV)

This scripture passage initially brings to my mind Hollywood’s Golden-Era, filmic depiction of a mysterious “Old Testament” God: all-seeing from the blindingly-bright firmament, and from whose perspective we gaze at pious worshipers, while a mighty king orders his marauding army over sweeping plains. Yet the verse concludes with a reference to the quiet but vital spiritual discipline of hope. 

Earlier verses of Psalm 33 proclaim the depth of God’s creative power and extol how expansive is God’s love for each and all of God’s creation. The children of God stand in awe, hands and voices raised in jubilant praise. 

Then follow words decreeing God’s absoluteness—human machinations and agendas crumble before God’s will. 

Finally, God’s love for us is steadfast and can deliver us from even death itself. We need only to trust in the Lord and rest in that hopeful place. I’m reminded of the adage “Let go and let God.” In other words, I can do what I can, and then I lift it up to God. 

Furthermore, as we are told in Matthew 19:26: Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.”

So today—despite the reality of global wildfires, warring nations, food, water, and economic insecurity, gun violence, inequality, disappearing species, and bitter politics—I will take a moment, lift my face heavenward, feel the warmth of the sun, and trust in my Lord, in whom my hope resides. 

Holy Creator, revive my flagging spirit when I try to navigate the harsh edges of this hurting world. Remind me I am never alone. And, whether in the quiet or amidst the noise, let my hope rest in you. Amen.

Written by Holly O’Mara, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

Reflection and prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church

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