“May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, that your way may be known upon earth, your saving power among all nations.” vss. 1-2
The psalmist believed that if the Lord would continue to be gracious to Israel and shower blessings on the people, it would be a witness to the nations of God’s favor. Perhaps, he reasoned, they would be so impressed that they too would begin to praise the Lord. It’s a nice thought, but the nations have proved to be a fickle lot. They seem to be a lot more interested in waging war than in offering praises to God–in the United States during World War II those two thoughts were even combined in the patriotic song, “Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!” In recent weeks we’ve been reminded of the thirst for violence that can capture a nation’s psyche. It’s baffling to see how quickly humans resort to killing and bloodshed to resolve conflict. Even religious leaders have gotten caught up in the fray–they seem to relish putting the divine stamp of approval on the most horrendous acts and imagine that God favors their nations missiles. Followers of Jesus are left aghast at what is happening. Some even feel that thirst for violence rising up in their own hearts! Prayers for peace seem ineffectual. At best we find ourselves reaching out to victims, binding up wounds, and welcoming refugees. Oh that God’s ways of grace and love would be known among the nations! Please, God, let it be so!
Thought for the Day: Will wars ever end?