I love this story: a boy gives a gift (a nickel) to his father, yet he doesn't think about where the nickle came from (the father). Thus are the gifts we give to God -- only small tokens of what has been given to us.
Yet God wants us to make that sacrifice, just as we as parents are touched by the small sacrifices of our children. We see them leaning into the beauty of selflessness. We see them growing with each gift.
This adorable little girl (part of my series on the Psalms) speaks to the innocence and naivete of any gift which we might consider giving to God. God, the Creator, made the heavens and the earth, the stars, the trees and the animals, yet she stands there, hoping to please the Master with those same gifts.
Although she speaks of innocence, the Psalm that inspired this girl is full of violence and anger.
But that is one thing I love about the Psalms - they are real. The world is full of problems, and the writers of the Psalms were enmeshed in those problems. They were fighting for survival and needed a God to lead them.
And while swirling around in those problems and while praising God for his mighty deeds, the author reminds us that even though it may seem naive, we should bring gifts to our God.
And so we, like this little girl, bring our gifts, as small as they are. May God use them for his glory.
Psalm 76 (EXB)
People in Judah know God;
his fame is great in Israel.
His Tent is in Jerusalem;
his home is on Mount Zion.
There God broke the flaming arrows,
the shields, the swords, and the weapons of war. ·Selah
God, how wonderful you are!
You are more splendid than the hills full of animals.
The brave soldiers were stripped
as they lay asleep in death.
Not one warrior
had the strength to stop it.
God of Jacob, when you spoke strongly,
horses and riders fell dead.
You are feared;
no one can stand against you when you are angry.
From heaven you gave the decision,
and the earth was afraid and silent.
God, you stood up to judge
and to save the needy people of the earth. ·Selah
People praise you for your anger against evil.
Those who live through your anger are stopped from doing more evil.
Make and keep your promises to the Lord your God.
From all around, gifts should come to the God we worship.
God breaks the spirits of great leaders;
the kings on earth fear him.
I feel in love with Psalm 4 when I heard this beautiful version of it by Melissa Breems.
This piece (another in the series The Psalms) is one of my earlier scenes, and I have been reluctant to post it. I love this Psalm so very much. And I just wasn't able to capture the intensity of the Psalm. I am not doing it justice.
But tonight I decided to post it anyhow. God is looking down on this woman, resting in peace because of Him. Even though my attempts at capturing the beauty of this Psalm are feeble, I am praying that God will speak through it to one of you. May you sleep in peace, tonight and every night, knowing that God is with you.
Psalm 4 (EXB)
Answer me when I pray to you,
my God who does what is right.
·Make things easier for me when I am in trouble.
Have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
People, how long will you turn my ·honor into shame?
How long will you love what is ·false and ·look for lies?
You know that the Lord has chosen for himself those who are loyal to him.
The Lord listens when I pray to him.
When you are angry, do not sin.
Think about these things quietly
as you go to bed.
Do what is right as a sacrifice to the Lord
and trust the Lord.
Many people ask,
“Who will give us anything good?”
Lord, ·be kind to us.
But you have ·made me very happy,
happier than they are,
even with all their grain and new wine.
I ·go to bed and sleep in peace,
because, Lord, only you keep me safe [make me secure.
A dollmaker in a little town with lots of flowers and birds.