Today’s Lectio Divina: Excerpts from Psalm 135. (MsgB)
God, Your name is eternal,
God, You’ll never be out-of-date.
God stands up for His people,
God holds the hands of His people.
The gods of the godless nations are mere trinkets, made for quick sale in the markets:
Chiseled mouths that can’t talk, painted eyes that can’t see,
Carved ears that can’t hear— dead wood! cold metal!
Those who make and trust them become like them.
When the Psalmist writes here in Psalm 135 about the gods of god-less nations, it almost sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? How in the world could god-less people have a god, you ask? Well, as I see it, here’s a cold hard truth about the human race…
Every last one of us earth-dwellers has at least one god we serve. Or as Bob Dylan, the prophetic folk-musician of the 1960’s and 70’s, once sang…
You may be an ambassador to England or France,
You may like to gamble, you might like to dance.
You may be the heavyweight champion of the world,
You may be a socialite with a long string of pearls.
You may be a preacher with your spiritual pride,
You may be a city councilman taking bribes on the side.
You may be working in a barbershop, you may know how to cut hair,
You may be somebody’s mistress, may be somebody’s heir.
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes…
You’re gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil, or it may be the Lord.
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.
Men and women, you see, are hot-wired to look outside of ourselves for a power greater than us.
Why? Because there are just too many things around us in this life that we can’t control.
Take the weather, for example. Humans over the centuries have learned to adapt to the severity of our planet’s weather systems, but even though we can now minimize our losses when a flood comes or when a tornado or hurricane rages, we are still basically unable to stop the powers behind what most of us call Mother Nature. Most human beings throughout history look at these great powers that are well beyond us and assign those powers to a god or a deity that has power to manipulate things we can’t.
Quite simply, even atheists serve a god. It will either be the god of nothingness or the god of self, but without a doubt, every human being on the planet will tend to look for a higher power that exceeds our limited power. Again, I defer to the Prophet Dylan…
We’re all gonna have to serve somebody.
So, with that being said, the next logical question is this…
Which god or gods are you and I choosing to serve today?
For the Psalmist, the gods of the god-less nations surrounding Israel were nothing like the god they had been introduced to. For the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God calling himself Yahweh had proven Himself faithful generation after generation. Unlike the gods of other nations, this God, who is the main focus of the Holy Book called the Bible, has unlimited powers that exceed the powers of lesser gods chosen by others.
Now, in the defense of other nations, their gods were not always losers. But over time, the God of Israel had proven Himself in such a way that it became very evident to most, that this deity certainly had characteristics not found in the gods of other nations.
Now, in truth, every generation needs to carefully evaluate the gods made available to us and choose carefully which god or gods we will serve. As I said earlier, my belief is that every one of us during our lifetime will come to some basic conclusions on which god we are most comfortable with and will spend a good portion of our time, energy and resources worshipping and serving that god.
This may sound strange coming from a pastor, but I need to be honest with you. If the God of the Bible, the One who sent Jesus of Nazareth to live and die for us all, is not your god of choice, I certainly have no right to tell you differently. Now I will do my very best to explain to you why this God of the Scriptures and His plan of salvation makes perfect sense to me, but please understand that I fully believe you were put on this planet for the explicit reason to discover who your god is and who you are in relationship with that god. My prayer is that your decision will be a wise one and not one based on what others are telling you, but on what your heart cries out from within.
Like the Psalmist of old, my personal experience is that Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; the Father God of Jesus of Nazareth; is all the Bible says that He is.
His name is eternal,
He’ll never be out-of-date.
He stands up for His people,
He holds the hands of His people.
Amen. And Amen.
My prayer: God of the Universe, thank You for giving us generation after generation of testimony that bears witness to the fact that You are, indeed, all-powerful, all-knowing and all-good. I embrace that truth and choose, this day, to serve You and Your advancing Kingdom. May Your Christ rule forever and ever. For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: How have I overstepped my boundaries in insisting that others must believe as I believe? While Jesus calls me to continually bear witness to the Truth found in God’s Word, how might I be one who never fails to tell His Story, but also honors every man and woman’s personal choices on which god they will serve?
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 Contemplative Activist network are available to companion you in your journey with Jesus. Click here for more info.
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