If you can't tell already... I love the Psalms. And this one in particular! Oh!
"Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger." Other Psalms talk about how even the sun and moon and sea creatures and lightning and hail should praise the Lord!
What wonderful imagery! What amazing words! What a God! A God who can take the tiny words and even sounds from the tiniest people and can turn them into a stronghold against our enemies. Wow.
I still don't comprehend the true power of praise. As I have grown older, with a little more grey, I have learned some. I have seen how bad moments can be overcome; I have seen depression turn into joy, and I felt fears relieved. But this Psalm... Praise has so much more power than we will ever know.
May your praise today establish a stronghold against your enemies. May your praise remember the majesty of the one who can turn sounds into strength.
Psalm 8 (NIV)
1 Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
in the heavens.
2 Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
3 When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?
5 You have made them a little lower than the angels
and crowned them with glory and honor.
6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their feet:
7 all flocks and herds,
and the animals of the wild,
8 the birds in the sky,
and the fish in the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.
9 Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
There is nothing more majestic than the waves of the sea. Nothing, but God.
Psalm 93 (NRS)
1 The Lord is king, he is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed, he is girded with strength. He has established the world; it shall never be moved;
2 your throne is established from of old; you are from everlasting.
3 The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their roaring.
4 More majestic than the thunders of mighty waters, more majestic than the waves of the sea, majestic on high is the Lord!
5 Your decrees are very sure; holiness befits your house, O Lord, forevermore.
Lift up my head
This Psalm was written as David fled from his son Absalom. After having already caused lots of trouble for David, Absalom now wanted to take over. David had to run away. From his own son.
He had reason to be upset -- and he had reason to worry about foes. Yet in the midst of his trouble, he relies on the Lord as His strength. He knows that God will lift his head high.
So today I give you this little lady, with her head lifted high. God has answers for her from His holy mountain.
If you need strength (and who doesn't?), please remember that whatever you are going through, God is waiting for you to ask. He will lift your head high.
Psalm 3 (NIV)
1 Lord, how many are my foes!
How many rise up against me!
2 Many are saying of me,
“God will not deliver him.”
3 But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
4 I call out to the Lord,
and he answers me from his holy mountain.
5 I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
6 I will not fear though tens of thousands
assail me on every side.
7 Arise, Lord!
Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
break the teeth of the wicked.
8 From the Lord comes deliverance.
May your blessing be on your people.
One of the things I am finding (as I try to work these Psalms into pictures) is that there is just such abundance within each Psalm.
In this case, I had a vision in my head of these little guys, and so I searched for a Psalm to fit them. And -- of course -- there it was! "You care for people and animals alike, O Lord."
Other times, I work from the Psalm. I find one I like, and then I think about how to portray these age old songs. In those moments, I feel the abundance within each Psalm even more acutely. There is so much to work with. There are Psalms for weeping and Psalms for rejoicing. Psalms for animals, Psalms for nature, Psalms for rulers, Psalms for the poor.
When I pulled out this little piece that I made a while ago, it reminded me of this abundance. There is a place for each of us in these words, a prayer for each heart -- even the hearts of adorable bunnies and kitties.
May you find abundance in the Word that fills the needs of your heart this day and always.
Psalm 36 (NIV)
I have a message from God in my heart
concerning the sinfulness of the wicked:
There is no fear of God
before their eyes.
In their own eyes they flatter themselves
too much to detect or hate their sin.
The words of their mouths are wicked and deceitful;
they fail to act wisely or do good.
Even on their beds they plot evil;
they commit themselves to a sinful course
and do not reject what is wrong.
Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,
your justice like the great deep.
You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.
How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!
People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.
Continue your love to those who know you,
your righteousness to the upright in heart.
May the foot of the proud not come against me,
nor the hand of the wicked drive me away.
See how the evildoers lie fallen--
thrown down, not able to rise!
Oh that I would trust in God and not my wealth and not my wisdom and not my power and not my country and not my friends and not my strength and not my money! This is my prayer for today -- a little girl clinging to an olive tree, hoping to flourish in the house of God.
Psalm 52 (NIV)
Why do you boast of evil, you mighty hero?
Why do you boast all day long,
you who are a disgrace in the eyes of God?
You who practice deceit,
your tongue plots destruction;
it is like a sharpened razor.
You love evil rather than good,
falsehood rather than speaking the truth.[c]
You love every harmful word,
you deceitful tongue!
Surely God will bring you down to everlasting ruin:
He will snatch you up and pluck you from your tent;
he will uproot you from the land of the living.
The righteous will see and fear;
they will laugh at you, saying,
“Here now is the man
who did not make God his stronghold
but trusted in his great wealth
and grew strong by destroying others!”
But I am like an olive tree
flourishing in the house of God;
I trust in God’s unfailing love
for ever and ever.
For what you have done I will always praise you
in the presence of your faithful people.
And I will hope in your name,
for your name is good.
Can we flee from the Spirit? Can we be separated from His presence? Or will he come and send us His light, pulling us always towards Him?
(This is part of my series on the Psalms.)
Where can I go from your Spirit?Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
A dollmaker in a little town with lots of flowers and birds.