Retreat of Silence
In Psalm 131, David resolves not to occupy his mind and heart with things that aren’t meant to be meditated upon, but rather, he has “calmed and quieted” his soul like a child. This weekend, try setting aside a significant amount of time (maybe 30 minutes, maybe an hour), in a place free of distraction, to spend before the Lord in silent prayer and introspection. Know that the Lord is present with you, that he probes your thoughts before you speak them (Psalm 139:4) and knows what is in your heart (John 2:25). In this time, try to investigate the things that are occupying your mind and heart, and acknowledge them before Him. It may be helpful to journal about them or write them out. What is causing you anxiety, worry, and fear? Are they things that God intends for you to sift in your mind and heart? Or are you anxious, worried, and fearful because they are things too high for you, that only He can comprehend? Offer them to God, and wait upon Him in this time to restore you with a sense of His peace, the peace that suprasses all understanding.
Read Psalm 111
Read Psalm 112
111:9 “He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant forever. Holy and awesome is his name!” 112:6 “For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever.”
Psalms 111 & 112, if you didn’t know it, are both acrostics. The first letter of each half-line starts with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The arranging of these psalms next to each other, as well as their similar style, suggest to us that these psalms complement one another. The mention of the “fear of the LORD” in the last verse of Psalm 111, and a similar sentiment in the first verse of Psalm 112, only further serve to reinforce this idea. Psalm 111 recounts God’s mighty works of salvation in the Old Testament, beginning with the Exodus and culminating with Joshua leading Israel into the Promised Land. God’s people are to “praise the LORD” and “give thanks to the LORD with [their] whole heart[s]” (v. 1). The psalmist is teaching God’s people, through song, many things about His character and nature (vv. 2-8), but he’s also teaching them the eternal nature of God’s covenant with His people (v. 9). Psalm 112 helps us grasp some of the many reasons to celebrate the fact that God “has commanded his covenant forever” (111:9). Here we see that God’s people are to again “praise the LORD” (v. 1) for a host of reasons, including the many ways God blesses His covenant people (vv. 1-9). Those who fear the LORD and delight in His commandments are indeed blessed (v. 1).
Although subtle, perhaps the most significant reason for God’s people to praise Him is the fact that the “righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever” (v. 6). But why are God’s people remembered forever? Does this seem to be the case, when our years often seem so short? We as God’s people are remembered forever because we have been united by grace through faith to the LORD Jesus Christ, the one who truly “fears the LORD…[and] greatly delights in His commandments! (v. 1)” In our ever-changing, transient world, isn’t it wonderful to know that your life is bound up with Christ, the infinite, eternal and unchangeable God-man?
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.