A Cycle – 2nd Sunday of Lent 23
Ps. 33:4-5, 18-19,20, 22
It is rare for the psalms to be the source of how God used the scriptures to grab my attention. Yet the psalms are part of the inspired word of God and are God’s revelation of Himself to us. Today psalm 33 as brief as it was touched me and motivated me to read the entire psalm once again. David in this psalm understands the immensity of God’s power, his love and his mercy and expresses it in a song acknowledging how each of us should like children show our joy and appreciation because we are part of His kingdom on earth.
His psalm begins with praise, acknowledging his greatness and faithfulness of God as he tells us the earth is full of the goodness of God. I am certain each one of us can point to things in this world that do not seem to be full of God’s goodness. Yet, David tells us if we just pay attention to our surroundings, we would grasp how the earth is full of the goodness of God. David marvels at the starry heavens and is in awe of what he sees because he knows from the scriptures how God “breathed the stars into existence.” That fact alone is mind boggling but, in another psalm, David understood God’s majesty and power as he said God holds the mountains and the depths of the earth in his hands (Ps. 95:4).
Then a line in psalm thirty-three struck me. David said, “may your mercy be upon us Lord as we place our hope in you.’ David’s hope in God was more than the word implies. David’s’ hope is not expressing uncertainty. Yet hope for us seems to imply an uncertainty, a lack of belief in the goodness of God. How can we move from hoping God’s mercy is ours to believing God’s mercy is ours. How can we become as certain as David about our belief in God’s plan for our salvation.
Visiting hospice patients has been an experience I am grateful to have been able to involved with during the past twenty five years. Yet, I must admit the words I heard most from those facing their own immortality was “I hope.” Hope, God is merciful. Hope God is forgiving. Hope I am not condemned.” Why did those faithful people have only hope at the end of their life instead of certainty? The certainty David expresses in psalm thirty-three. What have we missed as we grow in our faith journey which should reveal to us a merciful, loving, forgiving God who longs for us to run to him and embrace him.
What have we missed that we fail to comprehend the reason for Jesus’s death was to free us to worship with confidence that we are forgiven. Sinners yes, but sinners who can say with confidence Chris died so that I may stand holy and righteous in front of God. During our time on this earth and at the moment of our death. As David ends this psalm he says, “the eye of the Lord is upon those who hope in his loving goodness to deliver them from death.” There is that word hope again and hopefully you begin to grasp how David’s hope is expressing certainty not uncertainty. Trust not doubt and a firm belief in God’s provident care for each of us.
Our hearts should be doing exactly what David expresses and that is “our soul waits for the Lord.” We do not fear or doubt our encounter with God on earth or at the time of our death will not be anything less than a joyous reunion with our maker. We should not wait until that final day hoping we have done enough to earn grace. Our hope is not to be uncertainty but it does acknowledge we do not earn salvation, but we do have it because of Christ. So when we say we hope in Christ we are stating a belief in God’s promise to reconcile us to himself through Jesus Christ.
We can boldly say that because of God’s love for us is big enough to wash away our sins and free us to jump into his lap and call him daddy – Abba. “our hearts rejoice in Him because we trust in your Holy Name. Let your loving kindness be upon us O Lord according as we have trusted in you.”