It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Reflection on readings for April 17

Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me,
    for I am poor and needy.
Gladden the heart of your servant,
   for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
(Psalm 86:1, 4)

Joshua 15:1-63
Caleb offers his daughter Achsah as a wife to the man who can successfully oust the inhabitant of a piece of land that had been designated as his. Othniel took the land and Caleb gave him Achsah. She then asked her father for more land--a field with springs.

The rest of the tribe of Judah was also successful in taking over the land assigned to them by Caleb. An exception was the Jebusites, who could not be driven out of Jerusalem.

Luke 18:18-43
He tells his disciples what is going to happen in Jerusalem. Even though he is very specific, they don't understand what he's saying to them.

Psalm 86:1-17
Psalm 86 begins with a plea to the Lord for help, a plea not based on anything done to deserve help but rather on the nature of the Lord--good, forgiving, and abounding in steadfast love. The psalmist continues by  recording the unique greatness of the Lord, and how everybody--all nations--recognize this greatness.

In verse 11, we have two more requests: Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart to revere your name. The psalmist wants to know more about God so as to live the kind of life that God would want. Moreover, to live that kind of life, the psalmist is going to have to give up other distractions.

After the requests come expression of gratitude including a reassertion of God's love and care.

But, even with the knowledge that God is powerful and loving, the psalmist recognizes that life can be far from perfect, "O God, the insolent rise up against me; a band of ruffians seeks my life, and they don't care about you at all."

In this time of difficulty, the psalmist asks God, "Turn to me and be gracious to me; give me strength; save me."

When we are in our own times of difficulty, we can pray this psalm, we can ask for Lord's favor, because we also can remember the times that the Lord has helped us and comforted us.

Proverbs 13:9-10

Prayer for Today: Pray Psalm 86.

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