Date: Tuesday, August 19
Scripture: Psalm 145
Verse: The Lord is merciful and compassionate, very patient, and full of faithful love. (Psalm 145:8)
Dictators of nations, families, and offices, often rule by manipulating the people they are trying to lead. They claim to be the ones providing what everyone need, but they withhold it if one were to get out of line. They say they want everyone to succeed, but work very hard to keep everyone in check. They offer protection, often telling others to stay loyal because outside of their rule the world is a scary place. Sometimes they even claim to have a near supernatural appointment to do what they are doing. Dictatorial leadership is a highly manipulative system designed to keep the ruler in charge and the masses in check. Today’s psalm offers allegiance to a different kind of leader, God, who is merciful, compassionate, patient, and full of faithful love.
If this psalm appears disjointed, that is because it is an acrostic poem. Every verse begins with the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Our version would be verse 1 starting with the letter A, verse 2 with B, and so on (verse 13 actually covers two letters, but you get the point). Thematically what ties the psalm together is the praise of God as king. I wonder if this psalm doesn’t echo the songs other nations would have made praising and pledging their loyalty to their earthly kings. Instead of focusing on a human being, the Israelites would have joined their voices in praise of God for all he has done for them. The use of the alphabetic acrostic may have been a mnemonic device of to help keep the praise of God on the people’s lips every day.
When we think of worship, we might think of what we do at church each Sunday morning. Or our first association may be the worship music genre, songs written for congregations to sing. But worship is so much more. When we worship we are offering our heartfelt praise to God for who he is and what he has done. That can occur on a Sunday morning at church, during our devotional time on a Tuesday morning, or in the car on our way home from work. True worship is not so much about what we do outwardly, and more about our expressions of praise to, thanksgiving for, and allegiance to God.
Prayer: Thank you God for all you are! Thank you for your mercy. Thank you for your compassion. Thank you for your patience with me. And thank you for your love. Amen.
Action: Spend the day ahead with an eye toward worship. Give God thanks at points throughout your day. Share your love for him. Become aware of your need for his love, mercy, and grace.
Respond: Other than at church on Sunday morning, how do you worship God?
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