Stepping Up 4

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I’ve been carrying on looking at the Pilgrim Psalms using Beth Moore’s ‘Stepping Up’ and here are this week’s thoughts…

So I read Psalm 127 and 128 this week, and to be honest they initially really annoyed me. They seemed to imply that you are only blessed by God if you have children, which really bugged me – but with Beth’s careful and thorough dissection of the psalms, and her references to other parts of the Bible, I realised that the messages of both psalms are much deeper and far more inclusive than I first thought.

Rather than explain in great detail how I have come to this conclusion, I will simply post my versions of the two psalms, with a couple comments below each one.

Psalm 127

Let’s pick up our tools to build, set our sights on hoped-for achievements, focus our minds on dreams of many kinds

– But let’s not do a thing without first involving God, the master builder and original creator, the eternal sustainer.

A completed book, a beautiful building, a large family – none of these can truly be brought to life without him.

Without Him, our plans and our labour – all of it – would just be hard work with no reward, all done in vain.

And let’s not tire ourselves out thinking it’s all in our hands. Let’s put in all in his, and sleep in peaceful trust.

We may be a lamp, but He is the flame. He loves us. He knows what we need.

Be a parent to anyone who needs you and thank God for the priviledge –

It is good to raise young ones

And send them out

To fulfill their destiny

Each one like an arrow, or a plane, or a letter or a seed.

———-

I’m aware that some of the above could be offensive to some people because of the idea that everything done without reference to God is in vain. Did you find yourself reading it and thinking any of the things below?

‘Does that mean our achievements mean nothing?’

‘Does that mean my talent is useless?’

‘I’ve managed ok to raise my family without his help.’

From my point of view, though, the truth is that God brings our souls to life and empowers us to use our gifts for good. For a Christian, God is eternal and good, and when we ask him to help us with things, He can bring something of his goodness and eternity into those things. We are just people at the end of the day – capable of greatness, beauty and creativity, but also capable of mistakes and foolishness from time to time. We build relationships as best we can. We build careers as best we can. We build lives as best we can. But imagine how different those relationships, careers and lives could be with a bit of heavenly help, like a wick set alight or a champagne bottle uncorked or a firework set off.

The second part of the psalm is about children and young people, so totally relevant to my work, but also I hope relevant to us all, as we are all part of the human family and all have the power to influence others and to help them to flourish.

——

Psalm 128

A life of worship is a happy one!

Following God brings goodness, like salt bringing out the flavour of a dish

Things will go well when we listen to Him

All will be provided as we look to Him in trust.

We’ll be like vine branches – our lives spreading out from God to others, bursting with fruit!

Where we are, life will be.

Where we are, more will spring up.

This is part of God’s great blessing.

May the Lord bless you,

May you see his goodness in all the days of your life

And in the great line of lives that follow yours – all part of the shining tail of the Jesus Comet.

——-

I don’t think I need to say too much about this one – it follows on quite nicely from the one before…

So all that’s left to say is sorry about the cheesiness this week!

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