Be gracious to me, O Lord.
See what I suffer from those
who hate me;
you are the one who lifts me up
from the gates of death,
so that I may recount all your praises,
and, in the gates of daughter Zion,
rejoice in your deliverance.
1 Chronicles 12:19-14:17
Transfer of power from Saul to David. All tribes. The ark is brought to Jerusalem. Encountering God can be terrifying. David deflects some of the risk by putting the ark in someone else's house for a while. David builds a palace, marries a lot of women, and defeats the Philistines.
Paul is writing this letter to church people that he has never met, but is eager to. Eager to proclaim the gospel. We are reading it centuries later.
A few years ago I read the Advent study, Blessings of the Manger by Jeanne Torrence Finley, that included some questions for us that arise from this reading from Romans:
Where are our loyalties, and how do they define us?
What do our checkbooks tell us about what we value and to whom we give our allegiance?
What do our to-do lists say about our loyalties? What do our calendars and appointments tell us about what we value most?
What do oppressors think when they read this psalm? I'm thinking specifically about verses 15-17 that explicitly state that the wicked get what they deserve.
We individual human beings and we groups of people may ignore the needs of the people around us, but we will be judged for this. Read verses 19-20. Can you honestly pray them?
Wealth brings many friends,
but the poor are left friendless.
A false witness will not go unpunished,
and a liar will not escape.
Prayer for Today: O Lord, help me to consider where my loyalties lie, what I spend time and money on. Open me to the needs of others. Amen.