THE CALL | Daniel 3:17b–18 [ESV]
"Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
Father, we long to have the courage to worship you in the face of danger, neglect, or public shame, but we confess that we often fall short. Our small daily compromises corrode the foundation of our faith and when trials come, we crumble. Teach us to trust you even when we do not face the fire furnace, and in doing so, lead us to greater trust and confidence in you. Teach us to recognize your presence with us in any circumstance.
ASSURANCE | Isaiah 41:10 [ESV]
fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
SING | Doxology [sheet music]
Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Read: Psalm 40
2nd Reading: Psalm 41
[Our focus will be on Psalm 40.]
"I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation."
For people like me who are children of the 80's the opening words of Psalm 40 will always remind of U2's famous song, entitled simply... "40." For those of you too young to remember, it is worth a listen.
The theme is simple. God's deliverance should lead us to a new song. David promises to sing about the deliverance that God provided and tell it to others. In short, he promises to "testify" to God's saving power.
Do you have a testimony? If you know Jesus as your savior, then you do have a testimony. Some testimonies are dramatic and fully of gory details. Some testimonies are simply and full of subtle works of God. Sometimes we reflect on the powerful way God brought us from a life of sin into salvation. But, David's testimony here does not seem to be about his conversion, but rather about how God continued to show his saving power to David during his life.
Sometimes, instead of sharing our testimony of God's saving power, we hide his deliverance within our hearts (v.10.) We might not think about it that way, but when we don't tell about the way God has answered prayers or poured out his blessings on us, then we are essentially "concealing his love" (v.10.) God's intention is to reveal his saving power to the world through his work in our lives. Singing a "new song" about God's power in our lives allows other people to celebrate and enjoy his glory. Let's consider how we can tell people about his work in our lives!
Optional Meditation: Psalm 124 | Responsorial Chant [demo recording] [chant setting pdf]
If we could tour history and listen to how God's people have sung the Psalms throughout the centuries, it would probably sound like chant to our ears. Common meter and western melodic structures did not exist for most of human history. While our hearts engage more naturally with western sounds, chanting the Psalms can still be an excellent way to let God's Word minister to you. There are many modern forms of chant, but here is an example of Responsorial Chant, where the cantor (chanter) uses a tone to sing through the bulk of the text. The refrain is sung by the congregation as a way of reflecting and responding to the Psalm text. The red dots signify to the cantor where to go to the next tone phrase. There are many chant resources if you want to investigate more, or you can create your own chant tone as well!
WEDNESDAY-CONTEXTUALIZE | Psalm 124
Consider ways that you can let the Psalm form your imagination, that you might share it with others. Perhaps you can journal about it, write poetry or prose, learn a song, create visual art, or reexpress it in ways that speak to your context. If you are planning to fellowship with other people this weekend, consider how you might share these imaginations with your community.
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever,
Isaiah 40:31 [ESV]
but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint
City Reformed Presbyterian Church
The 90 Days project is a collaborative effort of many church leaders. Matt Koerber and Daniel Snoke have taken lead roles, with others helping to write daily devotionals.