Saturday, August 7, 2021
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 18 which is a detailed poetic account of David’s jubilation at his victory as reported in 2 Samuel 22:
David sang to the Lord the words of this song2 Samuel 22:1
when the Lord delivered him
from the hand of all his enemies
and from the hand of Saul.
I’m not a fan of modern “action movies”. When I see their trailers on TV, I feel overwhelmed by their “Bang! Bang!”, “Blow ‘em Up” special effects. And I felt a little bit like that when I read all of Psalm 18.
The scenes described in both Samuel and Psalms are tumultuous! David has had one heck of a time trying to be king!
But reflecting on his deliverance from those times causes David to exclaim, “I love You, Lord, my God.”
As you read Psalm 18, notice that a significant word is missing: BECAUSE.
David never says that he loves God BECAUSE of all the magnificent things God has done for him.
Love, for God or for God’s creatures, isn’t a barometer. It doesn’t rise or fall according to life’s pressures.
Love is a magnet. It is a pulling into the life of the other which gives balance to my own being. Without that balance, it isn’t love.
We see this beautiful balance in David’s relationship with God:
He knows God through deep and constant relationship
I love you, Lord, my strength
He stays faithful throughout his trials.
… my shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold!
He gives glory to God, not himself.
Praised be the Lord, I exclaim
Extolled be God, my savior!
He asks God’s continued blessing on those for whom he is responsible.
You have shown kindness to me and my posterity forever.
Poetry: A Rondeau for Leonard Cohen – Malcolm Guite wrote this poem thinking of Leonard Cohen as a modern day David. Leonard Cohen (September 21, 1934 – November 7, 2016) was a Canadian singer-songwriter, poet, and novelist. His work explored religion, politics, isolation, depression, sexuality, loss, death and romantic relationships. He is the composer of the very popular song “Hallelujah”.
Like David’s psalm you named our pain,
And left us. But the songs remain
To search our wounds and bring us balm,
Till every song becomes a psalm,
And your restraint is our refrain;
Between the stained-glass and the stain,
The dark heart and the open vein,
Between the heart-storm and the harm,
Like David’s psalm.I see you by the windowpane,
Alive within your own domain,
The light is strong, the seas are calm,
You chant again the telling charm,
That names, and naming, heals our pain,
Like David’s psalm.
Music: If It Be Your Will – Leonard Cohen