February 20, 2019

Sons and Daughters

Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle;
my rock and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues the peoples under me.
O Lord, what are human beings that you regard them, or mortals that you think of them?
They are like a breath; their days are like a passing shadow.

Ps. 144:1-4 

Psalm 144 opens in a warlike fashion, but but by the third verse it transforms into something else entirely. And so the rather military nature of vv. 1-2 is quickly put into another context. Human strength and military might—even force used on God's behalf—are still less than a drop in the bucket in the broad scheme of things. Human soldiers may see themselves as mighty, but what are human beings that God should even take note of us?

This soldier (we're told it's David) then shows himself to be a poet throughout the rest of the psalm. The verse of the poem that catches my eye this morning is verse 12:  
May our sons in their youth be like plants full grown, our daughters like corner pillars, cut for the building of a palace. 
This says so much. Though plants and pillars seem very different, I think the sons and daughters represent the same thing. The psalmist is praying for a future characterized by stability (plants have roots and pillars are strong), beauty, and usefulness. If I look to the general spirit of the scriptures, I don't believe it's possible to assume that the psalmist is referring only to the sons and daughters of the nobility, the rich, or the powerful. Clearly David is looking to a future in which all children prosper and are appreciated and loved. And I mustn't forget that because of the covenant made with and through David, I am a brother of the Son of David and a joint heir to the promise. So this prayer includes the whole church. And as a church, we need to be cognizant of the fact that we should advocate stability for all God's children, appreciation of the inherent beauty of all who were created in God's Image, and respect and fair compensation for all who labor. After all, if we, who are so insignificant are nonetheless loved by God, then why shouldn't we love and appreciate each other?

Thank you, Lord, for making me who I am, for loving me despite what I do, and for giving me a future in your Realm. Help me to pray and work for the good of all your children, that the society that I am even now helping to create can offer justice, freedom, and meaning to all. I pray this in the Name of your Son, who taught me to pray...

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