GOD IS SOVEREIGN IN SALEM

Opening Prayer

On this Sabbath Day, Father, I come to you in gratitude and worship for who you are. Thank you for all you have done to show me who you are and to make me your own.

Read PSALM 76

Psalm 76[a]

For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm of Asaph. A song.

God is renowned in Judah;
    in Israel his name is great.
His tent is in Salem,
    his dwelling place in Zion.
There he broke the flashing arrows,
    the shields and the swords, the weapons of war.[b]

You are radiant with light,
    more majestic than mountains rich with game.
The valiant lie plundered,
    they sleep their last sleep;
not one of the warriors
    can lift his hands.
At your rebuke, God of Jacob,
    both horse and chariot lie still.

It is you alone who are to be feared.
    Who can stand before you when you are angry?
From heaven you pronounced judgment,
    and the land feared and was quiet—
when you, God, rose up to judge,
    to save all the afflicted of the land.
10 Surely your wrath against mankind brings you praise,
    and the survivors of your wrath are restrained.[c]

11 Make vows to the Lord your God and fulfill them;
    let all the neighboring lands
    bring gifts to the One to be feared.
12 He breaks the spirit of rulers;
    he is feared by the kings of the earth.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 76:1 In Hebrew texts 76:1-12 is numbered 76:2-13.
  2. Psalm 76:3 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verse 9.
  3. Psalm 76:10 Or Surely the wrath of mankind brings you praise, / and with the remainder of wrath you arm yourself

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Meditate

We pray for all authority figures, role models, and influencers. May they conduct themselves in righteousness and the fear of God, so that all people everywhere may live in peace.

Think Further

On September 1, 2016, Colin Kaepernick, an African American football player, ‘took the knee’ instead of standing to attention during the singing of the national anthem at the start of a game. This was his personal gesture to protest against racial discrimination. Whether we agree or not, the gesture has gone viral, and most English professional football players and officials have followed suit. The search for justice, peace, and equality is universal and enduring.

Psalm 76 points to the only solution: the King of [Jeru]Salem (the word means peace; cf shalom, Solomon, salaam).

It is out of Zion that this God, the Lord, has revealed himself. The world owes an immense, eternal debt to Israel for preserving the self-revelation of the Lord. He is described in terms that depict him as the warrior king, whose awesome majestic power, located in the Temple in Zion, overcomes all pretenders, local, national, or cosmic, and their offensive weapons. His power overwhelms and restrains the oppressors but saves and raises up the oppressed (v 9). His acts of salvation are legendary, not least the exodus from Egypt led by Moses. His dynamic Word has power to create and to overpower. This King is Judge over all the earth (vs 7–9). Through Jesus Christ, he has demonstrated his commitment to promoting and protecting well-being and the ability to flourish for all human beings everywhere (vs 12), especially the poor and downtrodden.

Apply

We are to be people of peace who do our neighbors no harm. We may also want to consider opportunities to combat the myriad of injustices we see around us.

Closing prayer

Lord God, may your extravagant love be reflected in who I am, in things I say and do. Help me to show others who you are.

Last Updated on December 17, 2023 by kingstar

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