As the songbook for God’s people, the Psalms tell us an emotional and spiritual history of God’s big story of redemption for God’s people. Psalm 111 shows us the mighty deeds of God that make our Creator worthy of praise.
When people marry, they make promises to love, honor, and cherish each other until death parts them. They vow that no matter their circumstance—rich or poor, sick or well—they will remain faithful. Marriage is a covenant—a binding agreement of faithfulness, not a contract that can be easily renegotiated when the terms change.
Just as daily acts of kindness and forgiveness build a faithful marriage, God’s deeds of redemption show us that God is faithful to God’s promises. These deeds show us the character of God. God’s love is proven by God’s action. God is bound to the people, even if they find other lovers.
Psalm 111 speaks about God commanding and remembering God’s covenant. Our first parents broke the covenant with God in the Garden, but throughout the Bible God institutes a covenant of grace. God does not relate to us as a taskmaster requiring perfection but in a context of grace. God remains faithful even when we fail. Ultimately, God commands and remembers God’s covenant through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
God is our faithful lover who never waivers, breaks, or ignores the covenant. God provides for us and is worthy of praise.
When we are so apt to trust our circumstances to satisfy us, or we tend to rely on a friend, child, or spouse to meet our deepest longings, may we instead run to the God who we know keeps and commands the covenant. God is the faithful One.
God, thank you for relating to us not with a contract but in a covenant, a binding agreement of faithfulness. We praise you for your faithfulness and for your work of redemption for us, ultimately in the person of Christ. Amen.
This week’s readings center on God’s authority. In Deuteronomy God promises to raise up a prophet to guide the people, and God warns the people not to listen to voices that do not speak for God. The psalmist overflows with praise for God’s great works. God is powerful and awesome, yet also gracious and merciful. Paul instructs the Corinthians to place the rights of others before their own rights. A person’s conscience may allow one to exercise freedom in Christ; however, with this freedom comes responsibility. We must surrender our own rights, if necessary, for the good of others. In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus shows his power over the forces of darkness: Even the unclean spirits recognize and obey him.
Read Deuteronomy 18:15-20. To whom or to what setting do you turn when you yearn to hear God’s voice?
Read Psalm 111. For what are you praising God today? How have you experienced God’s steadfast love recently?
Read 1 Corinthians 8:1-13. What do you think of Paul’s statement, “Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up”? Can you think of examples of this in your everyday life?
Read Mark 1:21-28. How do you react to the concept of authority? How does the authority of Jesus differ from the authority we may encounter in the world?
Respond by posting a prayer.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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