Today’s Lectio Divina: Excerpts from Psalm 148. (MsgB)
Praise God from heaven, praise Him from the mountaintops;
Praise Him, all you His angels, praise Him, all you His warriors,
Praise Him, sun and moon, praise Him, you morning stars;
Praise Him, high heaven, praise Him, heavenly rain clouds;
Praise, oh let them praise the name of God—He spoke the word, and there they were!
He set them in place from all time to eternity;
He gave His orders, and that’s it!
Thus far, our ponderings in the Concluding Hallel (Psalms 146-150) have offered us the following reasons to sing our high hallelujah’s to the Lord…
Hallelujah Reason #1 (Psalm 146): God is large and in charge.
Hallelujah Reason #2 (Psalm 147): It’s a good, beautiful, and fitting thing to do.
Today, the composer of Psalm 148 decides to continue this journey down the Hallelujah Trail by taking us all back to the Beginning. The Very Beginning.
In the beginning…GOD!
Now keep in mind that men and women throughout all of history have pondered long and hard over how this whole thing we call life got started. Today is no different from thousands of years ago. The only thing, quite honestly, that has changed is that now-a-days, we have many more technical tools to help us dig up some possible solutions for these very difficult questions.
As I see it, it doesn’t matter if you are a Bible-thumping creationist or a dyed-in-the-wool scientist. Both points of view have their legitimate arguments and I, for one, don’t feel qualified to argue for either side. For those of my friends who are strict creationists, I fully understand why you want our Bibles to be the final resting place on making these tough decisions. For my friends who take a more scientific approach to creation and believe the earth to be much, much older than several thousand years, I fully get the scientific evidence that seems to prove your point.
But here’s the rub.
In truth, aren’t both of these approaches to the problem limited to human understanding?
The last time I checked, human understanding doesn’t quite cut it when attempting to answer questions that are so much larger than our human existence. Oh yeah, I get it why we earth-dwellers living in the 21stcentury feel so confident that our latest and greatest tools of measurement are accurate to the nth degree. But quite honestly, whether it be our greatest interpretation of Scripture or our latest interpretation of readings from a Voyageur spacecraft, aren’t both sets of readings human in substance and understanding; thus leaving us lacking when trying to answer questions that are beyond human understanding?
The Psalmist takes, what I believe, is the best approach to such things and states simply that everything we see around us; the moon, the stars, the sun, the green grass, the blue sky, the white clouds, the high mountains, and the deep oceans, all have their origins in God the Creator. Like the writings of Moses in the Book of Genesis, these holy words, recorded in Psalm 148, were not written to be read as we would a science book, nor were they written to be interpreted as history alone. Sadly, so many religious people act as though our Bibles were written as a quick answer to all questions, so thus we feel the burning need to go up to a scientist, shaking our Bibles in their face. It seems to me that when we use our Holy Scriptures in that way, it’s kinda like taking the works of Shakespeare and trying to convince someone if they read them carefully, they will learn everything they need to know about living in the sixteenth century in England!
Let’s face it folks. The Bible is not a science book and I, for one, am offended at times when well-meaning Christians try to make it into one! The Bible is primarily a love letter written to earthlings, offering all of us, not scientific evidence on creation of the world or on the existence of God, but rich words of unconditional hope and promise written by the Author of Life. The sooner both creationists and scientists can get off of our high horses of prideful arrogance, humbling ourselves before each other, the sooner we can learn to listen to one other and move our human existence away from all the hatred and division that divides this planet so deeply.
So, let me close this little walk through this deep subject on creation by simply offering, as the Psalmist does, yet another reason to sing our hallelujahs to this amazing God who was there in the Beginning…
Hallelujah Reason #3 (Psalm 148): God is our Creator.
My prayer: Hallelujah, God, my Father. My understanding of You as the Center of the Universe, the Creator/King of all creation is at the core of my Christian values and beliefs. While I have so little understanding on the technical details of how and when it all started, I believe with certainty that You were, and still are, at the very core of all life itself. For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: So how have I allowed myself to lean upon my own fleshly understanding versus choosing to trust in the wisdom and discernment of God that far exceeds my own abilities? How can I learn to rest in the unknown mysteries of God and His creation while holding firm, with no uncertainty, to the Rock of Ages?
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.
If you like what you’re reading, might we suggest you share this page with others!