Show me the way


Duizel in het Park Festival, Rotterdam, August 2017 (Photo: Irene Bom)

 
The theme I’ve selected for August 2017 is “on a journey”.

The word “journey” does not appear much in the psalms, if ever. “Way” or “ways” is very common, though. Especially in Psalm 119, an extended meditation on living in right relationship with God, walking in his ways: “Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD.” (Psalm 119:1)

Invariably the word “way” expresses more than a particular road, path, or track that you use to go from one place to another. Instead, it reflects the outcome of multiple journeys that have somehow become internalized into a “way of life” (Psalm 84:11, Proverbs 28:18, Jeremiah 21:8).

Here selected verses from Psalm 143 – a prayer for help and direction on “the way I should go” to find relief and release in tricky situations. Sometimes relief comes from unexpected quarters, like in the parable of the “Good Samaritan” (Luke 10:25-37).

1 LORD, hear my prayer,
listen to my cry for mercy;
in your faithfulness and righteousness
come to my relief.

7 Answer me quickly, LORD;
my spirit fails.
Do not hide your face from me
or I will be like those who go down to the pit.

8 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I entrust my life.

9 Rescue me from my enemies, LORD,
for I hide myself in you.

10 Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
lead me on level ground.

(Psalm 143:1, 7-10)

Reflection

“The biblical psalms have the Lord God talking through the embattled confessions of children adopted by God who are in the grip of God’s Spirit. Yet, in the psalms, God is also talking live to anybody today, worldwide, who will listen.” (Calvin Seerveld, Voicing God’s Psalms, p. xvii)

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