14 The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him,
and he makes his covenant known to them.
15 My eyes are ever toward the Lord,
for he will pluck my feet out of the net.
16 Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
17 Relieve the troubles of my heart,
and bring me out of my distress.
18 Consider my affliction and my trouble,
and forgive all my sins.
There is a rich texture to our relationship with God. As a worshiper of God, he experiences the friendship of God, one with whom he is free to be himself, open with his troubles and anxieties, his own sin, and his loneliness. In this friendship he feels the safety of being the Lord’s beloved.
- How easy is it for you to accept God’s friendship unconditionally?
- What conditions do you put on yourself before God? Are there desires and/or anxieties of your heart that you struggle to open up before God?
- How can David’s words to God be an example and encouragement to you?
Gracious God, you created us to be in relationship with you and that didn’t stop with the fall. As we sit in your presence, help us to come to you with our whole hearts – the good, the bad, and the ugly – and trust in your enduring friendship and love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
19 Consider how many are my foes,
and with what violent hatred they hate me.
20 O guard my life, and deliver me;
do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
21 May integrity and uprightness preserve me,
for I wait for you.
22 Redeem Israel, O God, out of all its troubles.
As we finish up Psalm 25, the psalmist acknowledges that he faces opposition and calls out to God, knowing He is the one who delivers and protects. David’s response to the opposition and faith in God’s deliverance is a commitment to living with integrity and uprightness, where what we are on the outside reflects who we are on the inside. That is the process of transformation that God invites us to.
- What feelings do you experience when you consider the opposition you see?
- Where do you see God in the arena of your life?
- How closely does your exterior reflect your inner life? Write a prayer, bringing this question before God?
Gracious God, it is so easy to be overwhelmed by the opposition and vehemence that we feel directly and indirectly. Our tendency is to either fight or withdraw, but we acknowledge that you are the one who is willing and able to overcome darkness with light. Help us to trust you with all our heart and seek to live lives that reflect the transformation you are working within us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
1 How very good and pleasant it is
when kindred live together in unity!
2 It is like the precious oil on the head,
running down upon the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
running down over the collar of his robes.
3 It is like the dew of Hermon,
which falls on the mountains of Zion.
For there the Lord ordained his blessing,
Imagine the people of God, journeying together on the road to Jerusalem, tired and dirty, and likely grumpy. And as they sing this song, they are reminded of the beauty of people living in harmony with one another. It is an act of honor and worship, and a response to the blessing of eternal life, in quantity and quality, that our God has given us.
- Where are you experiencing unity among your brothers and sisters?
- Is there something that gets in the way of unity and why?
- How does the blessing of eternal life infuse your relationships with others in this present day?
Gracious God, we thank you for the invitation to lift our eyes up to see you and the blessing of eternal and abundant life. Give us the capacity to receive your blessings and respond by living in unity with our brothers and sisters, relinquishing the petty things that feel magnified when we are anxious. Turn our hearts toward one another with your love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
1 Come, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord,
who stand by night in the house of the Lord!
2 Lift up your hands to the holy place,
and bless the Lord.
3 May the Lord, maker of heaven and earth,
bless you from Zion.
We are invited in this psalm, as God’s servants and recipients of his blessing, to bless him back, acknowledging his goodness and power as Maker and Sustainer of all we know. Even in the dark of night, in the loneliness of feeling like we are the only ones awake, we are invited to experience the mutuality of our blessed relationship with him.
- What does your practice of blessing the Lord look like?
- When have you experienced the blessing and encouragement of God in the midst of a lonely time?
- How do you experience God’s blessing?
Gracious God, thank you for the mutual delight and blessing that you invite us to as your servants and the recipients of your goodness. Remind us in the darkest of times that you are present with us, watching over us and granting us your peace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
1 O Lord, our Sovereign,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
2 Out of the mouths of babes and infants
you have founded a bulwark because of your foes,
to silence the enemy and the avenger.
3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars that you have established;
4 what are humans that you are mindful of them,
mortals that you care for them?
The psalmist is overcome by the majesty of God, majesty that is heard through the cries and squawks of glee that babies and toddlers share with us and whose carefree babbles out-sing the naysayers of God’s creative and infinite greatness. When we are mindful of him, we are also aware of our own identity, and grateful that in Him and by Him, we are held in high regard.
- Where do you see the majesty of God?
- Where is God inviting you to see His creative and infinite greatness in an unexpected place or through an unlikely person?
- What would it look like to go through this day looking for the majesty of God?
Gracious God, you are above the heavens, beyond our comprehension, yet introduced to us through the simple sounds of children. Help us to be attuned to your display of your character and power all around us and to respond with gratitude that the Creator of the world grants us belovedness and worth. And may we respond to others, regardless of their faith convictions, that same belovedness and worth that we know. In Jesus’ name, Amen.