From Peter Morse
Today’s scripture readings tie together beautifully in their depiction of three very different ways that a relationship with God can manifest. Psalm 101 is full of unbridled joy and enthusiasm. The footnotes in my Bible tell me that this Psalm was likely used as part of a coronation ceremony for a new king. It seems to me like a perfect embodiment of the feelings we experience as new believers talking our first steps in our walk with Christ. We list all the ways we intend to serve the Lord and express our commitment to him, much like the psalmist, who even goes as far as to say “I will know nothing of evil.” We are of course all too well aware of how quickly the wheels can come off of our enthusiasm as it continually collides with the reality of living up to these promises.
The tone of Psalm 102 stands in stark contrast. Here the psalmist cries out in desperation for help from the Lord for rescue from a horrific disease. The situation is so dire that his enemies believe him to be forsaken by God, and the psalmist fears his life will soon be cut short. And yet despite this, much like Job, the psalmist praises the Lord and places his faith in God’s strength, remembering that all things of this world will come to an end. To me this is a perfect demonstration of what a deep and mature faith looks like that comes from a lifetime of obedience.
Finally in 2 Kings 17 we see the realities of a conscious decision to turn from following God. We are given a veritable laundry list of Israel’s sins and are told that they continually failed to heed the words of prophets sent to warn them, which eventually lead to the destruction of the kingdom. It’s always incredibly scary to be presented with this knowledge that God will punish those who fail to turn from their idols towards him in this life. And yet, as Sarah wrote about in her reflection, there is comfort in knowing that even such punishments can be used to draw us closer to him.
May we all be blessed with a faith that never loses the passion seen in Psalm 101 and yet grows to the strength and maturity seen in Psalm 102.
I am a Massachusetts native who is readjusting to life in the northeast after an extended stay in North Carolina. I spend my days working as a chemist doing research to figure out more practical and efficient ways to produce different medicines.