Archive for January 24th, 2018

Psalm 89: A Hymn in Time of National Struggle – Part II

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

James Tissot: David Cuts Off the Head of Goliath

Finding the Servant

Samuel anoints Saul Israel’s leader and the new ruler is successful in battle as he enters into a close relationship with God; but later in this story, Saul begins to think of himself as the ultimate power. We can predict what happens as his life unravels. In 1 Samuel 16, the Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you go on grieving over Saul? I have rejected him as king of Israel. But now get some olive oil and go to Bethlehem, to a man named Jesse, because I have chosen one of his sons to be king”. And so we consider, are we flexible; are we able to see two sides of an argument; are we willing to admit that there is always more than a single story?

Relationships ebb and flow; conflicts rise and wane. Samuel and Eli. David and Goliath. David and Jonathan. David and Saul. Corrupt priests raise prophets. Arrogant leaders kill the innocent. A nation rejects the ideals the people so ardently espoused such a short time before. The world seems to stand on its head. Yet through all of this, the Lord is constant. Through all of this, the message is consistent. God finds servants and remains open to their dialog. God asks servants to follow, as they trust that God’s plan is better than any they might devise themselves. God abides and remains, coaxes and consoles, supports and guides, hopes and loves. Today we consider, are we willing to be the faithful servants God finds? And are we willing to be sent into the world?

We hear this story . . . we take it in . . . and then we reply . . . O Lord, I will always sing of your constant love; I will proclaim your faithfulness forever.

Mattia Preti: Samuel Anoints David

When we spend time with this psalm and this story, we find new openness to God’s fidelity, even when the word of the Lord is rare and visions are scarce.  

Tomorrow, God always hopes. 



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