Jenny's Psalm Reflections: 59 verse 17

Today’s verse is Psalm 59 VERSE 17

“O my strength,I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love

Background:

Psalm 59 is again filled with David’s complaints and lamenting regarding his wicked enemies, their plots to overthrow him, his own prayers and prophecies against them, and finally his comfort and confidence in God as his rock, or in this Psalm, verse 17, “his fortress”. The Psalm is associated with the incident when Saul sent a party of his guards to attack David’s house and kill him. It was when Saul’s hostilities towards David were just beginning. David calls for destruction and humiliation of his enemies. However, in the end, all this violence is revoked and the psalmist praises God. It’s an act of determination to turn away from violence, to meditate instead on God’s mercy and love and to find strength in God’s grace. Isn’t it wonderful that the final word in the Psalm is “love”?

At the moment, with the beginning of the COP26 conference, most of us will be hoping that the world leaders will step up and introduce radical changes within their countries, and help poorer countries to combat climate change. Sometimes the politicians can seem like the enemies! It’s in the nature of politicians to look to the short term and do what they can to ensure winning the next election. But we need a radical change of thought here, don’t we? We face an existential crisis and those people who don’t do what they have the power to do, are, in essence, being enemies of the people, the youth, and our planet.

I have very strong views about climate change, and I don’t mind speaking out as I believe it’s my duty. For those who believe Christians should be pacifists and stay out of politics, I can assure you that Jesus was a revolutionary in his time; he was a most political character!

Let’s hope that the news from COP26 will be good, and if it isn’t, then rather than getting angry with those who seem to be our “enemies”, we must not stop continuing to encourage governments to act,  and pray that those in power will ultimately develop the courage necessary to take action on behalf of the environment and the world’s poorest and pursue ecological justice.

Meditation

1. Reflect on our beautiful earth 

You may wish to reflect on the environment and the COP26 discussions taking place in the context of love. Bring something from outside into the house, like a flower, berry or leaf. 

2. FIND A QUIET PLACE. 

Make sure that you are in a quiet place. Sit comfortably but alert – feet flat on the floor, back pushed hard against the back of the chair. Start your reflection with hands cupped open ready to be open to God’s presence.

3. Focus on your breathing.

Pay attention to in-breaths and out-breaths. You may think of breathing in God’s life and peace and breathing out any tension.

4. Be aware of your body.

Let your aches and pains be there. Rest your hands in your lap; you don’t need to be doing anything with them now. Rest your feet on the floor; you don’t need to go anywhere. Shrug your shoulders, ease your neck. Take time to become still…

5. Listen to god.

In the stillness listen to what God might be saying to you about love, the environment, and how we should respond to the emerging initiatives. Finish with the prayer below.

7. Finish with this prayer:

Strong and merciful God, stand with the oppressed against the triumph of inaction and the complacency of your people, and establish through Jesus Christ your new order of generosity and joy, for he is alive and reigns now and for ever. Amen. 

Posted on November 4th 2021

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