This psalm of praise and thanksgiving begins with an invocation: “Praise the Lord!” The psalmist then spends several stanzas reflecting on God’s deeds and promises, evidence of why God is praiseworthy. The work of God is described as great, full of honor, majestic, and wonderful. God is known by all people because of these deeds, which are kind and forgiving.
In verses 5-6, God is acknowledged as a provider. First, God provides food, a resource crucial to survival. But God’s people do not have to worry about provision because God keeps the divine promises to provide. God’s people will not perish due to lack of resources. The psalmist recalls God’s history with the Israelites, how in the wilderness and in the desert God provided food, water, and a path to safety.
Lastly, the psalmist addresses the reader. After absorbing such magnificent attributes of a God who keeps covenant, gives sustenance, offers mercy and grace, and provides order in chaos, we might wonder how to go about receiving such blessings. The psalmist tells us that to gain this wisdom we need to practice respect for God and follow God’s law, which will lead to understanding. What are ways in which you have seen God provide? Consider times of healing, strength, and abundance. How has God shown up for you, just as God did for the psalmist? Find a way to participate in praise today.
Holy Provider, you offer us mercy; you provide for the faithful; you praise your creation. We lift up our praise. We glorify your righteous acts. We receive your wisdom, so that all creation might participate in your covenant, worshiping you in thanksgiving. Amen.
If you could ask God for one thing, what would it be? God offered this chance to Solomon, and the king asked for wisdom to rule God’s people well. God honored this request by giving Solomon many other gifts too, as long as the king followed God’s ways. (Later on, unfortunately, Solomon lost his way.) The psalmist tells us that wisdom begins with understanding who we are and who God is. Ephesians addresses practical implications of wise living: follow the will of the Lord, be filled with the Spirit, encourage one another, and be grateful to God. The Gospel passage continues Jesus’ metaphorical description of himself as the Bread of Heaven. Here Jesus anticipates the sacrament of Communion, in which we partake of his body and blood by faith.
Read 1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14. Do you hesitate to ask God to show you your call? Why?
Read Psalm 111. Where have you seen God’s faithful and just actions in your life? In the world?
Read Ephesians 5:15-20. How do you live wisely and make the most of the time?
Read John 6:51-58. What is the significance of Holy Communion in your life of faith? How has your understanding of this sacrament changed over time?
Respond by posting a prayer.
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