You may have heard it said that Christianity isn’t a religion, it’s a relationship. There is one simple truth about relationships—they can exist only when both parties participate. Today’s reading illustrates this concept beautifully. After reading the Samuel passage, it is important to note that David wrote Psalm 34 as a grateful response to the rescue from his enemy King Achish, which he saw as God’s provision. The beautiful part is that David doesn’t have to respond this way. He could attribute his safety to his own acting skills as he feigned madness. Instead, David extols and glorifies the Lord, giving praise because the Lord answered his cries and delivered him from his fears. David understands what so many simply do not understand: God is an active participant in our world, both personally and globally.
God isn’t a distant God who simply spun the world on its axis and left us to fend for ourselves. God is present in all aspects of our lives—including our emotions. David acknowledges that not only was he rescued from his enemy but also from his fears. We often think that circumstances are “just the way it is,” or “I am just the way I am,” pushing aside the compassion, power, and provision God possesses that compel God to understand our feelings and change our circumstances. Sometimes we don’t ask, and sometimes we don’t see. “Taste and see that the LORD is good.” David did, and he couldn’t help but praise the Lord.
Reflect today on where you have seen evidence of God in your life in the past twenty-four hours. Did you sense the Lord through a restful sleep last night? Then praise the Lord. Did you experience God’s peace through a calmed spirit in the midst of a family argument? Give God glory. Did you experience a tangible answer to prayer? Celebrate our personal and relational God.
Lord, for those times I trust in my own abilities and talents, help me to see the ways you intervene and provide. You are always worthy of my praise! Amen.
David’s family was a mess. Among his children there was rape, murder, and a plot to overthrow him by his son Absalom. Violence followed, and Second Samuel tells the story of Absalom’s death. Even though Absalom had betrayed him, David still loved his son with a parent’s never-ending love—the kind of love that God demonstrates perfectly for us, as David celebrates in Psalm 34. The author of Ephesians warns against acting out of anger, wrath, and malice (the very things that tore apart David’s family). We should instead forgive, as God in Christ has forgiven us. In John, Jesus restates that he is the path to God because he teaches God’s truth. Jesus will give his own life, then raise up those who believe in him.
Read 2 Samuel 18:5-9, 15, 31-33. What helps you to “deal gently” with others? What makes it challenging at times?
Read Psalm 34:1-8. When have you been able to “taste and see” God’s goodness?
Read Ephesians 4:25–5:2. How do your words and actions reflect what you profess to believe about Christ?
Read John 6:35, 41-51. God comes to us in unexpected ways. Is there someone you have overlooked or dismissed as a servant of God? How can you work to see people as God sees them?
Respond by posting a prayer.
This season, Whitney R. Simpson has given us the gift we must open: a clear, accessible invitation to connect with the divine spark that is within us. This is the best present: being present for Jesus’ birth, God made human.”
Learn more about our newest Advent resource, Fully Human, Fully Divine here.