Pastoral Relief and Retreat

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Wethersfield, CT, United States
I am Pastor at Poquonock Community Church, Congregational (CCCC) in Windsor, CT. My wife Jama and I live in Wetherfield, CT. We'd like to invite you to Terre Haute -- High Ground -- That's what Jama and I call the retreat space on our property. We offer free intentional get-away retreats. We'll feed you and house you and give you space to be with the Lord. All are welcome; no questions asked. This blog is my daily devotional journal. I write it because it is so easy to go for weeks without ever taking the time to be alone with God. Writing helps me develop a discipline I need.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Meditation on Psalm 61


Psalm 61 (To the choirmaster; with stringed instruments.  Of David)
1Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; 2from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint.
           
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, 3for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.

4Let me dwell in your tent forever!
                       
Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings!
           
5For you, O God, have heard my vows; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.

6Prolong the life of the king; may his years endure to all generations!
           
7May he be enthroned forever before God; appoint steadfast love and faithfulness to watch over him!

8So will I ever sing praises to your name, as I perform my vows day after day.

Really soaking in what Psalm 61 is saying isn’t easy.  You sort of have to de-construct the Psalm to discover what David is really after.  Arranging the material on the printed page in sentence form rather than in poetic form is helpful (as above). 

First of all, David is coming before God five different ways.  He is Crying, praying, and calling in verses 1 and 2.  He is making a promise to God in verse 5.  And in verse 8 he is singing to God.   

And what does David want from God?  He needs God to guide him in verse 2b, to hide him in verse 3, to provide for him and to fly for him in verse 4. 

He’s also praying for ever widening circles of influence.  A tent, a shelter, a heritage (inheritances were usually in the form of real estate in those days), a kingdom (and a throne). 

But unlike most people, David has the wisdom to ask God for these things, not to spend them on his own self-aggrandizement or for his own pleasure, he really wants God to be glorified (as in verse 8).  He sees having these things as vehicles to praise him.  It turns out that what he has vowed to God is to fear his name (verse 5).  And he is asking God to give him the equipment to do that beyond the limits of natural life.

I ask a lot from God.  And I know he wants to give me the desires of my heart because he is a loving Father.  He especially loves to give me the desires of my heart when they are also the desires of his heart.  I regret to say that so often the desires of my heart in order that I might spend what he provides on making a name for myself rather than on the glory of his name.   What would it look like if I spent my days walking around in this world simply fulfilling the vows I’ve made to him?

Jon   

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