Journey to Jerusalem Day 14
Tuesday, March 10 Psalm 33:12-21
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, *
and blessed are the people he has chosen for himself
to be his inheritance.
13 The Lord looks down from heaven and beholds all the
children of men; *
from the habitation of his dwelling he considers all those
who dwell on the earth.
14 He fashions all the hearts of them *
and understands all their works.
15 There is no king who can be saved by a mighty host; *
neither is any mighty man delivered by great strength.
16 A horse is considered a vain hope to save a man; *
neither shall it deliver anyone by its great strength.
17 Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon those who fear him, *
and upon those who put their trust in his mercy,
18 To deliver their soul from death, *
and to feed them in the time of famine.
19 Our soul has patiently waited for the Lord, *
for he is our help and our shield.
20 Our heart shall rejoice in him, *
because we have hoped in his holy Name.
21 Let your merciful kindness, O Lord, be upon us, *
as we have put our trust in you.
What does it mean to be under “the eye of the Lord?” (v17)
Some might envision God as little more than the celestial scorekeeper, shaking His head while chalking down our sins in the Book of Life, despairing that we seem to never get it right.
The birthday sonnet (vii) of John Milton may be a useful corrective to such thinking:
… time leads me and the will of heaven.
All is, if I have grace to use it so,
As ever in my great taskmaster's eye.
The poet just here acknowledges the relentless fact that we are time-bound creatures, and that our Lord performs his cosmic will through us.
As a young man of twenty-three, Milton affirms that, be it slowly or quickly, he shall become a productive and proper individual as intended by the Creator—if he uses what God has given him while pursuing his dreams.
There is more to God’s oversight of us than keeping score. The divine purpose informing the whole of our lives reveals benevolence at every turn, whether we accept it or not. God only deals in goodness as we lurch towards our common end, and this includes when we are found enmeshed in our suffering.
Few religions find meaning in suffering, but ours does, for nothing more acutely teaches us that we are not unaided in a meaningless world.
There is no place where earth's sorrows
are more keenly felt than heaven:
there is no place where earth's failings
have such gracious judgement given.