Wednesday of Pentecost 9 – Psalm 33:12-22
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!
13 The Lord looks down from heaven;
he sees all the children of man;
14 from where he sits enthroned he looks out
on all the inhabitants of the earth,
15 he who fashions the hearts of them all
and observes all their deeds.
16 The king is not saved by his great army;
a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
17 The war horse is a false hope for salvation,
and by its great might it cannot rescue.
18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him,
on those who hope in his steadfast love,
19 that he may deliver their soul from death
and keep them alive in famine.
20 Our soul waits for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
21 For our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name.
22 Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
even as we hope in you.
I recently returned from a vacation. It was a wonderful time with my family. Two nephews were married this last month amid much rejoicing. We visited an aged uncle and gathered with family to remember another uncle who had passed away. It was a month filled with hope and love and grief and joy. I drove from the west coast to St. Louis for one of the weddings, visiting beautiful places and finding fun places to eat good BBQ. We caught up with old friends and met the children of some relatives we had never seen.
The psalmist portrays God looking down from heaven upon His creation. From His lofty throne he looks down upon people whose hearts he has fashioned, and he sees their deeds. He sees their weddings and the joy of lives spent in loving care for one another. He sees our grief and our waning years. He sees us tucking into a plate of burnt ends at a Kansas City BBQ joint. His gaze rests over it all.
The psalmist then reminds us that our real hope must reside in God. He is the only one who can really help us. Kings and their armies will fail us. The mighty engines and forces of war will do us no good in the long run. Our soul waits upon the Lord. He alone is our help and shield. And our heart is glad in Him. There is much in this world which demands our gloom and depression. But young people still get married, elderly uncles still tell the stories of their youth, families take comfort in the promise of resurrection, and we are all in the hands and eyes and heart of our loving God. Let that steadfast love be upon us, even as we hope in You.