Psalm 33 13-22
From heaven the Lord looks down
and sees all mankind;
from his dwelling place he watches
all who live on earth—
he who forms the hearts of all,
who considers everything they do.
No king is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength.
A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save.
But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine.
We wait in hope for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,
even as we put our hope in you.
I think of psalms as reminders. As texts that open our eyes when we’ve been too busy to open them ourselves. Sometimes life forces us to open them and we look to God to help us see things clearly. When this happens, I often look to Psalms.
These verses especially remind me of some of the struggles my family and I have faced over the past year and a half. When my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, it could’ve been so easy to question God and get angry with what was happening, but that didn’t happen. Left to my own thoughts, it easily could have happened, but my dad’s faith was so strong through it all that it left no room in my own head to question. God gave him hope, like this verse says. Hope that he could learn from the experience. Hope that things would turn out alright. Hope that he could touch others who may have or will go through similar circumstances. Hope that even in the darkest of times, we could all see the light.
This verse also says, “No king is saved by the size of his army;” but I can interpret this and think of it as a different kind of army. Not the kind of army with weapons who fight battles, but an army of support. People make a difference. People can form an army of well wishes and thoughtful actions. An army of people who care. We had the largest army I can imagine the last year and every “soldier” made a difference. So in this matter of speaking… yes, I think an army can save its king, even if it’s just putting a smile on his face for a moment.
So, all of this being said, I challenge us all to live a life full of hope. Be in someone’s army. Spread your hope to other people and envelope them in God’s love. Smile, because you never know who needs to feel God’s love and hope through that little action.
Here’s a prayer for today:Help us to wait in hope for You, Lord. You are our help and our shield.
Today’s devotional comes from Immanuel member Sarah Erickson.