The compilers of the Psalter and the Songs of Ascent have been emphasizing the family involvement in serving and worshiping God as their chosen way of life, in order to accomplish all that God has planned for them. What better way to train children than through family devotions; to share with them what they may one day face and how to cope with it. So as the pilgrims make their way to the Holy of Holies they are given a psalm that emphasizes the need for commitment and dedication to God’s way of doing things; for in following God’s plan for your life you may stumble, fall, and be tempted to quit. But as long as you are doing His will, He never sees you as a failure as long as you are faithful.

Many times I’ve been made fun of while growing up; let everyone say this with me, ‘Many times I’ve been made fun of while growing up, but I never let it get the best of me.’ The emotional wounds I’ve suffered remind me of a plowed field; they are as deep as furrows. But the LORD Eternal was always there to help; He took away the power my distractors had over me. In fact, all those who hate believers will one day be humiliated and rendered powerless. So let them be like wind-blown seeds that take root and grow on top of our flat rooftops; that wither before they can ever be harvested. That way, no reaper will ever carry away handfuls of grain, nor will a harvester be able to fill his arms with bundles of sheaves. Also, no passer-by will be inspired to say, ‘Looks like the LORD Eternal has blessed you;’ or, ‘In the name of LORD Eternal we congratulate you!’” Psalm 129:1-8

Reflection: At a well-known Ohio university years ago some 1000 students gathered for their Calculus final exam. Students in this class didn’t like their professor. He’d walk around the classroom yelling out the time remaining before the end of the test. He told the students that when they finished to stack their completed exams on his desk. One young man, who needed a good grade to pass the class, always did poorly when under pressure; however, he barely flinched when the professor screamed, “Pencils down! Submit your exams!” He remained in the classroom for about an hour before he finally walked to the front to submit his test. “What are you doing?” the professor hollered! “I’m turning in my exam,” the student said quietly. “I’ve got bad news for you!” the professor gloated, You’re too late! I’ll see you back here next semester!” “Do you know who I am?” the student quizzed. “What?” growled the professor; the student rephrased his query, “Do you know my name?” “No!” snarled the professor. The student looked the professor straight in the eye as he slowly lifted up the top half of one of the stacks and slid his test neatly into the pile before letting it fall back down, burying his exam precisely in the stack. He then turned around and walked casually out of the lecture hall leaving an angry professor behind trying to find his exam without knowing his name. The psalmist endured similar pressure to do things the way others thought it should be done, with no encouragement, but only criticism without any leniency. But he kept his cool and followed the still small voice guiding him from his conscience. In the end, God saw to it that he did complete the task given to him without affording his adversaries any chance to gloat over his shortcomings. What wonderful examples both the psalmist and this crafty student give us concerning grace under fire. Since the Bible does not accredit Satan with omnipresence or omniscience, there’s a good chance he has never met you and doesn’t even know your name. Besides, with God walking beside you, the devil may have little interest in even bothering with you.

About drbob76

Retired missionary, pastor, seminary professor, Board Certified Chaplain and American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Director.
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