Psalm 9:1-4 “I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High. My enemies turn back; they stumble and perish before you. For you have upheld my right and my cause, sitting enthroned as the righteous judge.”
David wrote these words to be sung somberly and mournfully. To the tune of “The Death of a Son.” It could have been written in response to the death of his first son by Bathsheba was dead and he had fallen into despair. These words were sung in response to heavy grief. Things were not going well. Times were tough. There was discord in his Kingdom. It was not to be a light and airy piece about shouting from the roof tops the praise to God. Life while comfortable, was full of disappointment and unrealized expectations. To borrow a line from a 60’s TV show, “Gloom, despair, excessive misery, if it were not for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.” 2020 and 2021 have not been the best for us all. Masks, shots, and social distancing seems to have taken the zest from life.
Yet today, I will not be overcome by the dirge of the world and simply “give thanks with all my heart, for all that God has done. I will sing the praises of God. I will keep on keeping on; always looking forward and not back.
I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me. … Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’”
When I was 7 one of fondest memories was the seesaw. We had four of them in the “little kids” playground at Marina Del Mar Elementary school. Each was set in concrete in a dirty, sandy area. Each recess included running to this simple lever-based plaything. The excitement was not in the contraption itself, but having someone to share the experience. It was a gleeful thrill to be raised up in the air with a little push. Then came the dependency and the assurance of an equal push of your companion would bring me back down. Up and down, up and down, it was wonderful. But the bell would ring and inevitably either I or my partner in joy would stepped off when at the bottom. Down you would come with a great thump. We all have all felt the disappointment and pain of the bottom. Mercy is someone always willing to balance you. Balance, that is mercy.
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:4-7
April has been a month of revelation of the importance of assurance in my life. To be well grounded in the Word of God, to accept God’s promises, to walk in the light as He is in the light. Not because of anything I have done or even deserve. I live in the assurance of God loving me. It is God dwelling in me as I realize this presence and know to whom I belong. One is salvation the other the assurance of it.