The Power Bug

1 Endow the king with your justice, O God, the royal son with your righteousness.
2 May he judge your people in righteousness, your afflicted ones with justice. Psalm 72:1-2

David prayed this prayer over his son Solomon. It’s a prayer that anybody could pray over their leaders. He’s asking God to bless his son with the ability to rule justly and with righteousness. Leaders around the world need these two related qualities as there are many many reasons to get distracted and sidetracked. Power, pride, greed, sex, lust for more power, and prestige are a few of the major temptations related to people who gain power.

You don’t have to be a world leader to catch “the power bug.” Of course the alluring nature of power seduces mayors, governors, legislators, and national leaders, but power (or the authority over one or more people) can also corrupt the lowliest of management “worker bees.”

Choose a leader today and pray for that person. Pray that the person will govern justly and with righteousness. Throughout the rest of this week, continue to pray for that person. You may be the only person in the world praying for that person.

Jam Session

22 I will praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, my God;
I will sing praise to you with the lyre, Holy One of Israel.
23 My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you—I whom you have delivered.
24 My tongue will tell of your righteous acts all day long,
for those who wanted to harm me have been put to shame and confusion. Psalm 71:22-24

Harp. Lyre. Lips. Tongue. All of them are instruments David used to praise the Lord.

Include in the mix drums, guitar, piano, clarinet, trombone, trumpet, saxophone, oboe, cymbals, sitar, hammer dolcimer, and any other instrument of your choice.

Make a joyful noise. David gave us four reasons in these verses. Certainly there are 4000 more in your life.

The eternal jam session we are invited to “on that day” will be nothing short of phenomenal. That’s why we have opportunity to practice down here.

Your praise may come from the beauty you create with an art brush or the way you have with the written word.

Some are content just to sit in silence and worship that way.

There are just so many ways and reasons to give praise to Our God.

Naming Names and Pushing Back

20 Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again;
from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.
21 You will increase my honor and comfort me once more. Psalm 71:20-21

The philosopher Nietzsche once stated, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” David’s words here were written well before Nietzsche lived but there’s a similar sentiment in it, that is, with a twist.

David is naming names!

He is saying that even though he knows that God will restore his life again, he also knows that what he has experienced was by God’s divine providence (story of Job comes to mind). Yes, it would make him stronger in the end and his honor would be increased, but getting to that point was filled with troubles.

Most of us can recall a time where we felt like the whole world was against us. Some may be experiencing that right now. Continue to “push back” on Him. He knows what you’re going through because it’s perhaps by his divine providence that you’re going through it! Don’t be afraid to keep pushing it back on Him.

Thirty years ago I went through Air Force survival school. In one “interrogation” setting, we were told to sit on a pointy chair, which was the only chair in the room. Our objective as ones being interrogated was to solve the immediate problem (the pointy chair) before anything else could be solved. No other questions could be answered until the problem was solved. After all, how could you possibly answer questions about name and rank and mission if you’re sitting on an extremely uncomfortable chair? Surprisingly, because of the setting we were in, it took a long time for many of us to realize the obvious: make our problem their problem.

Push back that which you’re going through until it’s resolved. It’s on your mind 24/7 so bring it as often. Pushing back does two things: it always keeps Him on your mind, and you begin to make your problem His problem.

Indeed

19 Your righteousness, God, reaches to the heavens, you who have done great things. Who is like you, God? Psalm 71:19

It’s perhaps the question that, if asked, demands an answer that no one can provide. There is no one like God. Nothing is like God. We will be astounded by the majesty and glory of almighty God. As Paul said, “we see a glass darkly.”

Bottom line is this, we don’t know what we don’t know. We don’t know the riches or the depths of God’s love. It’s bottomless. That’s why it’s amusing to hear scientists proclaim that they can now see the end of the universe. To which God says, “Oh yeah? Give it a few years and you’ll see beyond the end of that universe.”

We are amazed at seeing a glimpse of the glory of God here on earth in this life. On that wonderful day, we won’t know how to describe what we see and hear and experience. I suspect we will be speechless just trying to take it all in.

Who is like you, God?

Passing the Mantle

Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God,
till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come. Psalm 71:18

My generation certainly has a challenge ahead of us: We are to pass down what we know to the next generation of Believers. How do we do that in the time we have left?

It starts and ends with faithfulness. As I’ve stated in many posts, people are watching us. The next few generations are watching us closely.

  • They want to know that what we believe is worth believing in.
  • They want to know that our deeds are matching our words.
  • They want to see us love our spouses the way we should.
  • They want to see a faithfulness to God that is unmatched.
  • I also believe they want to see that those in the church are different than those outside the church.

Essentially as we live our Christian lives, we are teaching them about our faith. Of course we may have opportunity to “pass the mantle” on to them through teaching and instruction, and we should do that, but I am certain they will learn much of what we truly need to teach them through our faithful actions.