This psalm-hymn praises God for steadfast faithfulness to God’s people. Because it recounts some of the Exodus event and wilderness sojourn, we could also describe it as a history-psalm. The psalmist calls on God’s chosen people to remember the mighty deeds of Yahweh in their salvation history.
The first six verses of introduction include the call to praise: “O give thanks to the LORD, call on his name, make known his deeds among the peoples. Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wonderful works.”
The psalmist, in speaking to the “offspring of [God’s] servant Abraham,” calls on them to remember God’s mighty acts of providential grace. The main purpose of the divine acts of salvation are these:
1) To make known God’s wonderful deeds so that the circle of God’s family will expand to all people.
2) To inspire the people’s obedience: “That they might keep his statutes and observe his laws. (v. 45)
3) To glorify the name of God by singing hymns in praise of God’s attributes of goodness, mercy, compassion, justice, and steadfast love.
4) To praise the God of salvation who acts for good in our lives and in the world.
Lifting voices in song remains a chief way that we praise God. Singing praises together unites minds and hearts, breath and voices—indeed the whole being—in praise.

Faithful God, we thank you for the story of your providential work. We praise you for the truth that you keep your promises to those who trust and obey. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Matthew 20:1-16

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Lectionary Week
September 18–24, 2017
Scripture Overview

The reading from Exodus 16 concerns Israel’s primary memory of food given in the wilderness, given where there are no visible sources of life, given in the face of restless protest, given wondrously and saving Israel from both hunger and despair. The verses from Psalm 105 recall the marvel of God’s grace during the wilderness years and the people’s joyful response. In the Philippians text Paul wrestles with the question of God’s will with respect to his own leadership. Paul not only explains the meaning of his incarceration but goes beyond that to explain the meaning of his life: “Living is Christ and dying is gain.” Matthew 20 reminds the reader that in the kingdom of heaven God’s mercy is often surprising, even offensive. People are valued not because of their economic productivity but because God loves and engages them.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Exodus 16:2-15. What experiences have strengthened your trust in God?
• Read Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45. Spend a moment recounting God’s faithfulness to you in the past. Does recalling those times encourage your obedience to God today?
• Read Philippians 1:21-30. Paul acknowledges the importance of his physical presence to the Philippians. Whose physical presence makes a difference in your life?
• Read Matthew 20:1-16. What situations in your life make you question God’s fairness? When have you been envious because of God’s blessing of another?

Respond by posting a prayer.