Today’s Lectio Divina: Excerpts from Psalm 41. (MsgB)
Dignify those who are down on their luck; you’ll feel good—that’s what God does.
God looks after us all, makes us robust with life—
You know me inside and out, You hold me together,
You never fail to stand me tall in Your presence so I can look You in the eye.
Blessed is God, Israel’s God, always, always, always. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Take away a man’s dignity and you’ve pretty much destroyed him. Treat a woman with no respect and after a while she actually believes she deserves none. Belittle a little kid long enough and that child rarely grows up.
God knows how we humans tick, and so does the Devil.
That’s why we’re encouraged by King David here to come alongside God in His lifelong journey to dignify every human being on the planet while we can. Especially those who are down on their luck. And especially those whose lives are falling apart.
God, you see, knows us on the inside and the out. He knows that each one of us is insecure and brittle. Ready to break at the slightest questioning of our worth. God also knows that it’s Satan’s number one assignment to go around questioning our value as human beings. That’s why we see the Serpent approaching Adam and Eve with such cunning questions like “Didn’t God say…?” or “Are you sure God really meant…?” And over in the New Testament, we find Satan trying to undermine Jesus’s sonship by questioning Him this way: “If you are the Son of God…?”
As I see it, Satan knows full well that if he can get me to start questioning my worth and value in life, removing my dignity and rubbing my face in my own dirt, he’s accomplished all he needs to do in destroying my life. Once, you see, I start questioning if God really loves me or if He truly believes in me, the battle has pretty much been won.
So that’s why King David’s counterattack to Satan’s tearing down program is for you and me to come alongside God in building up dignity and worth for everyone around us, including ourselves. That’s why God loves to pull me together, as King David states it here, stand me up straight and let me know that I have enough value in His sight to look Him square in the eye.
God, you see, believes in you and me, even when we don’t. God sees potential in us even when we’re down on our luck. God thinks we can win even when we’re losing. God places bets on us to win, place, or show even when we’re running in last place in the horserace.
Hey get this!
God even believes I’m a 6’2” slim and trim fighting machine even though I’m really only a 5’ 8” old dude with a paunchy stomach!
Take that Satan! :0)
Always. Always. Always.
Yes. Yes. Yes.
My prayer: Poppa, thank You for reminding me that I’m worth more than a million dollars to You. My dignity and value in this life is vitally important to You and You invite me to battle for that integrity and ask me to come alongside Your work to build up the dignity of others as well. Empower me, Holy Spirit, to join you in Your battle against the enemy’s ploy to discredit us all. For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: Where have I bought into the enemy’s undermining questioning of my dignity and worth? How am I letting him do that to others around me? What might it look like for me to become a defender of those who are down on their luck or to give step stools to those who believe they are too short to look God in the eye?
So what is God speaking to you today as you ponder the Psalms?
Over a 50-week period, you and I will take a deeper look at The Psalms: God’s Songbook of Prayers. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Contemplating the Psalms home page for ease of use. Keep in mind that one of the best ways to explore the on-going applications of this blog series is to walk alongside a biblically-based, Christ-centered spiritual director who is familiar with how to make material like this part of your overall spiritual formation in God. Many of our directors in our Sustainable Faith-Heartland network are available to companion you in your journey with Jesus. Click here for more info.
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