Reading: Psalm 105: 1-6 and 16-22 and 45
Verse Four: Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always.
Psalm 105 is a summary of Israel’s early history. The opening lines are a call to give thanks and praise to God for all He has done for the people. The story told in Psalm 105 is not necessarily pretty all the time. There were times of slavery and abuse and hardship. There was famine and hunger. Normally we do like stories with some conflict in them because they keep our attention. But why would the psalmist tell a story that had abuse and slavery and hunger in it?
Yes, it is the truth and, yes, it helps the Israelite people remember their history. But even more importantly, it reminds them of God’s presence. For the Israelites, the chosen people, these stories represent the times God stepped forward and acted on their behalf – ending the famine, parting the sea, performing the miracles. These stories remind the people of God’s love and care for them and they provide hope and promise for the future.
We have similar experiences with God in our lives. We have events and situations where there was conflict or hardship or trial. In these times we also have experienced God’s presence as He provided a way or brought us that peace beyond understanding or gave us the strength and courage to slay our giant. Sometimes, though, we are hesitant to tell these stories because they show our imperfections or our struggles or our failures. We do not always like to share these aspects of who we are. Yet we need to share our stories of what God has done in our lives. Just as the Exodus stories gave the Israelites hope and reminded them of God’s presence and promises, so too can our stories of when God came near give hope and promise to those we meet. It is through the sharing of these stories and the impact they had on our faith and lives that we can help others to understand and practice the words of the psalmist: “Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always”.