9 O Israel, trust in the Lord! He is their help and their shield.
10 O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord! He is their help and their shield.
11 You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord! He is their help and their shield.
12 The Lord has remembered us; he will bless us; he will bless the house of Israel;
he will bless the house of Aaron;
13 he will bless those who fear the Lord, both the small and the great.
14 May the Lord give you increase, you and your children!
15 May you be blessed by the Lord, who made heaven and earth!
16 The heavens are the Lord’s heavens, but the earth he has given to the children of man.
17 The dead do not praise the Lord, nor do any who go down into silence.
18 But we will bless the Lord from this time forth and forevermore.
Everyone needs a reminder of their blessings from time to time. We often take many of the things we are blessed with for granted, like utilities, access to food, clothing, shelter. If our cellphones don’t have internet and there is no wi-fi we can act like we have been reduced to poverty…a very spoiled and entitled mindset.
God’s covenant people often lost focus as well. It’s easy enough for us to judge them with the hindsight of history and the security living in our society brings. But for them, one bad harvest could mean starvation, one unfortunate accident a lifetime of poverty, one bad illness, and you’re a pariah for life. It was probably hard to feel like you’re part of something greater, a chosen people, when you have to share your bedroom with a donkey before heading out to work the fields day in, day out, just like everyone else in the world.
The psalmist offers his Hebrew audience a reminder of who they were and what God had done for them as a people. In the New Testament it is the 11th and 12th chapters of the book of Hebrews that offers us a great reminder of who the Lord is and what He has done for us. We see a list of many of the prominent members of God’s people who had served Him faithfully before the culmination of that covenant in Christ. “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)
While we may not always appreciate the long history of faithfulness God demonstrated to Israel, or remember the names and stories of everyone in the Old Testament, we should always be mindful of how the entire history of God’s people and Scripture are focused on Christ.
So today, while you may not be feeling like a very important or influential member of God’s people, know that it is Jesus who is our focus, and God is the Lord of us all. We can remember the great mercies God has shown others in the past, the brave men and women who have risked all to serve Him, the heritage we are all part of in Christ. Since before the world was made, Jesus was the focus. Like the ancients who so often would remember that their God was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God who made promises, who delivered, who save. We can rest in the truth of who God is in Jesus. Our Savoir, our King and our Friend.
Prayer for Today
Father, I thank you for your faithfulness to your people down through the ages. From the very beginning you have shown mercy and extended your peace to those who would seek your will. Jesus, show me your Father’s will that I may serve Him faithfully today. And by your Holy Spirit encourage me to take my place among the faithful who for generations have told of the wonders of your great name. Amen.