State of the Heart

Psalm 131 consists of a mere fifty-nine words parceled out over three verses (NIV). Because of this, there is the temptation to treat it like a headline—grab the central thought and move on. We’d be poorer for doing so though because the psalms aren’t spiritual fast food. They are not meant to be gulped downContinue reading “State of the Heart”

Perseverance (2)

It would be difficult to overstate the value of perseverance—but not impossible. More to the point, it’s easy to look at perseverance the way we see an iceberg and notice only the part that is above the waterline and miss the more significant portion below. Perseverance is a glorious thing but like everything else, it’sContinue reading “Perseverance (2)”

Joy for the Journey

Psalm 126 has Israel’s return from Babylon (“When the Lord brought back the captive ones” (v. 1 – NASB) as its starting point. The nation’s response to God’s great deliverance is both poetic and powerful, “Our mouths were filled with laughter and our tongues with shouts of joy . . . we are filled with joy” (v. 2-3). TheContinue reading “Joy for the Journey”

Traveling Mercies

I suppose prayer language is a bit like barbecue—each region has its own distinctive flavor. Some phrases seem to have made the circuit and are employed everywhere (guide, guard and direct, until the next appointed time, well-pleasing in Thy sight). Then there’s one I’ve only heard a handful of times, but I really gravitate toward: traveling mercies. It’sContinue reading “Traveling Mercies”

The Work of Peace

As the pilgrims journeyed toward the holy city, they were thirsty for peace. It was more than just a passing concern for them; peace is a steady theme throughout the ascent psalms (122:6-8, 125:5, 128:6). It’s fitting that as they approached Jerusalem (“the city of peace”), they sought the greater, higher peace of God. InContinue reading “The Work of Peace”