Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
Our reading from Psalm 71:1-14 points again and again to our dependence on God. He is the refuge, the deliverer, the rescuer, the safe place.
We live in a world of uncertainty. To listen to some voices in the public square, this is a new phenomenon. Yet it was the same kind of world three thousand years ago. It was the same kind of world two thousand, one thousand, or one hundred years ago. What makes us think our time is so special?
We are uncertain in ourselves. That's uncomfortable. I'll grant it freely. Not knowing what is going to happen next makes us uneasy. The issue, however, is not with our world. It's a rough place, but it hasn't really changed that much.
The problem we have is that we are uncertain in ourselves. You and I are not big, strong, wise, and stable enough to bring order out of chaos. We aren't able to govern a large enough part of the future. We fall short even in small things. How much more in large things? If we want some sort of certainty, we can't find it in ourselves, we need to find it somewhere else.
Where will we look? The Psalm has us look to the God of all. He is the one who can govern us, who knows how our world works, who can keep us in his place of refuge, who can defend us from all harm and danger.
When we look to God, however, even in great faith, we are still confronted with this deadly looking world. It can shake us up. In what way are we safe? When we consider the tens of thousands of people who die each year under persecution for their Christian faith, we might not feel too safe as Christians. When we consider the threats of famine, general warfare, and disease, we might not feel particularly safe. When we consider the fact that we simply age and eventually die, we can easily feel very mortal. Where's the security? The world seems pretty deadly.
God is not the god of this time only, but he is the God of all eternity. He is able to keep his people, even if they die, for eternity. He is able to overcome death itself. The Christian shouldn't approach death with fear. The Christian recognizes that life is eternal, though it is interrputed for a little while by death.
We have nothing to fear. The Lord of all eternity is able to keep you and me in eternity, pefectly safe. Our certainty is found in him, not in ourselves. He is the Lord God, the almighty.
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