Summer in the Psalms - Psalm 78
Even as the World Burns by Ronne Rock
Oh hey, short on time? No worries! I'd love to join you on your commute or daily walk/run, or shoot, even while you take care of that to-do list. We can't let these things get in the way of this friendship. It's just starting to get good! Click below to listen to the blogcast.
The last couple weeks we've been working through some really tough things together.
We've talked about when words cut us, when the waves of circumstances overwhelm us and now we're going to spend a few minutes discussing the flames around us - specifically when the world burns.
There is so much going on in our world today, and we need to be reminded that God is still on His throne and He's attending to the finest details.
To help us with this, you get to meet my friend, Ronne Rock, today. Her mission is to offer hope for you, purpose-weary warrior, and help you see God’s absolute delight in your design. She is a mouthpiece of celebration for women and believes redemption is our theme.
She is an encourager through and through, and it's no different with the words she's sharing with us today.
Listen, dear friends, to God’s truth, bend your ears to what I tell you. I’m chewing on the morsel of a proverb; I’ll let you in on the sweet old truths, Stories we heard from our fathers, counsel we learned at our mother’s knee. We’re not keeping this to ourselves, we’re passing it along to the next generation— God’s fame and fortune, the marvelous things he has done. - Psalm 78:1-4 (MSG)
The world is burning.
Perhaps it always has been.
But as of late, the flames feel white-hot.
A pandemic continues to haunt homes around the world despite efforts to quell its unwelcome visit. The chasms of conflict continue to widen in my country, each labeled by color and status and style. The chaos of culture tosses fresh tinder on the fire. And communities are literally ablaze with the battle between one man's lust and the world's liberty. I ache for those I love, scattered about like petals in nooks and crannies of forgotten countrysides. I curse the disparity of position and place, and long for teleportation as my superpower so that I may blink myself into service and blink us all into rescue.
Small moments of reprieve allow the smoke to clear just enough to see glimpses of hope. A recovery. A safe haven. A miracle shaped from smoldering flames.
The world is burning, and grief and joy dance together in clumsy friendship while my feet stumble in the dervish.
The world is burning, and even a long-road faith wrestles to keep my heart from melting.
The world is burning, and my soul finds refuge in the words of Psalm 78.
"He was mindful that they were human, frail and fleeting, like a wind that touches over one's skin for a moment, then vanishes." - Psalm 78:39
God proclaims His relentless care in the Psalms the way He confirms it throughout scripture:
"What is bruised and bent, He will not break; He will not blow out a smoldering candle. Rather, He will faithfully turn His attention to doing justice." - Isaiah 42:3
And in Psalm 78, that care is offered to the ones with melting hearts, to the ones who struggle to believe, to the ones singed by the flames when the world is burning.
Written as a song of call and response, Psalm 78 has become a companion in the journey of a hope that does not disappoint. The psalm is a maskil, written by teachers considered seasoned and wise to illuminate truth. Some may read the psalm as words of warning, a cautionary tale of distrust in God. But when I read Psalm 78, I read the story of God's fidelity and love—a love that finds a way in the soot and ashes. His love is described as "and yet" and "nevertheless" and "even though." He attends to the finest of details through it all.
I may doubt His goodness when the world is burning.
Nevertheless, God... (v. 23)
I may question His heart when the world is burning.
Yet by His great compassion, God...(v. 38)
I may wonder and wander when the world is burning.
And He still leads me to sacred land (v. 54)
Even now, God will use the flames of a world burning to illuminate the truth of His redemption.
Now, It's Your Turn!
Before opening God's Word, take a moment to pray and ask God to meet you there. Then...
Read Psalm 78 a couple times. Highlight what stands out to you.
Circle verbs or specific wording you notice.
Then, write down a bullet point takeaway based on this. "I-statements" help make this personal. Think of this as a challenge statement.
Even as the world burns around me, my God attends to the finest of details. Even as the world burns around me, God's love finds a way in the soot and ashes.
Then, jot down a question or two to think about today. You don't have to have the answer to this question now. And yield to the Holy Spirit - prayerfully ask God to search your heart and lead you to more truth and grow your faith through the Holy Spirit.
What in my world feels ablaze right now? How might an "and yet" and "nevertheless" and "even though" help me hold on to hope in the midst of the fire?
Again, we don't have to be Bible scholars and talk only in the thou's and art's of King James version to read this book ...because when we pray before we read, we are not alone. The Holy Spirit is with us, guiding and teaching us.
Praise God for this!
And praise God for refreshment as we are intentional to spend a summer in the Psalms together, for if we want His truth to ever be on our lips, it must first be planted in our hearts.
Our strength grows as we rely on strength from above. Our joy grows as we see God transforming us from the inside out. Our peace grows as we spend time in God's presence, and we find rest when we intentionally seek the Lord first in our lives, for the Lord is ever our portion.
The good life, well it starts with a good day. Then another. Then another. Let's choose to live #TheGoodDay one day at a time.
I love hearing from you, so go ahead. Leave a comment. Be brave. Maybe your comment will speak life into someone else!
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