Monday, August 2, 2021
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 81, and today’s verses sound a little harsh. The Lord seems a bit fed up with Israel’s hungers:
My people heard not my voice,Psalm 81:12-13
and Israel obeyed me not;
So I gave them up to the hardness of their hearts;
they walked according to their own counsels.
Translated to 21st century jargon that verse might sound like this:
I love them and all, but come on!Renee’s unofficial imaginings 🙂
They don’t follow my advice;
so the heck with their stubbornness.
Let them stew in their own juices!
But see, here’s the thing. God is never like that with us. God is, instead, everlastingly patient with us. God stays with us until we – hopefully – respond to Grace.
And don’t we sometimes really test God’s patience! Moses was great at it — pushing and pushing for God to make things easier for him.
I cannot carry all this people by myself,Numbers 11:14-15
for they are too heavy for me.
If this is the way you will deal with me,
then please do me the favor of killing me at once,
so that I need no longer face this distress.
Picture Moses standing in front of God, hands on hips yelling, “I’ve had it! Why not just kill me now?!?!”
The verse actually makes me chuckle because I also picture God, smothering a smile at Moses’s tantrum, and thinking, “Maybe some quail will settle this guy down for the long haul.”
Today’s psalm and reading from Numbers remind us that each of our lives is an unfolding journey in relationship with God. It is a journey that requires us to listen and respond over and over again. At each response we move ever deeper into the heart of God, letting go of those things which impede us from our destination.
If only my people would hear me,Psalm 81: 14-15
and Israel walk in my ways,
Quickly would I humble their enemies;
against their foes I would turn my hand.
Poetry: Moses by Alan Kanfer
Whatever residue of pride adhere
To eyes, to bones, to hair will shed like sand
When we discover the The Name is near
And fire is Light, and we are asked to stand.
That night my hair was like a fell of sheep,
My bones like water, I was weak and dumb:
My perfume reeked like camp whores that we keep.
I stood, receiving “I am that I am.”
How small the distance is between the root
And flower: the Name is near as our consent,
As our denial. Coming up the hill on foot
Long after, knowing we must be content
With shadow of The Name, I shed my will
But not my love: the final miracle.
Music: Frangeti – George Winston