Let the King Live!

The Lord lives! Blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation.
Ps. 18:46

Calvin points out something interesting here. He says that one possible translation of the first part of Psalm 18:46 is Let the Lord live! Grammatically, this means interpreting the verb to be in the optative mood. This is the way we might express ourselves should we say, Long live the king! We see this more clearly in other languages such as German (Es lebe der König!) or Spanish (¡Que viva el rey!), where the word "long" isn't used at all—instead they simply say, "Let the king live!"

So how might that make a difference in the way I read this beautiful little verse? It's either The Lord lives! or Let the Lord live! In the case of the former, it doesn't necessarily touch upon my faith. It's just a fact. In the case of the latter, it's closer to a prayer: Let the Lord be alive to me! Thus I see that I'm not giving permission for God to exist, but am asking for God to be a living part of my life.

And this is important. For I think many of us who claim faith in the living God go through periods—sometimes brief, but sometimes lengthy—when God is just a word and not a living and active reality in the way we live our lives. In the 18th Psalm, we see that David went through enormous difficulties to arrive at the realization that God was more than a theological concept, but a strong and life-giving presence in his own life. While, like most people, I might pray to avoid the time of trial, the most important petition is that, no matter what, I may come to a place in my life when I may affirm the reality of God in my life.

Whether my lot be easy or hard, O God, may my path lead me to your presence, for which I thirst, and may you be more real to me than the earthly comforts that seem so attractive. I pray in Jesus' Name, who taught me to pray: Our Father...