Jenny's Psalm Reflections: 68 verse 32

Long jetty with candles

This week’s verse is Psalm 68 verse 32.

 "Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth, sing praises to the Lord.”

Background:

Psalm 68 is a very long Psalm with 35 verses and is entitled “Praise and Thanksgiving.” It portrays a beautiful picture of living a life with God as a life of music and praise. 

Music has always been an important part of my life. My father was a music teacher and a church organist, and I was always surrounded by music at home. There are photos of me as a tiny child curled at my father’s feet while he was playing the piano. I played violin, flute, and piano, but it’s hard work to play these instruments competently, and I now only occasionally tinkle the keyboard and sing! 

Music, at its highest level of accomplishment, is wonderful to listen to and participate in. The hard work required to sustain it, though, is a bit like how we have to work in our lives. God is our constant but to keep that “melody” of God in our lives requires work on our part to listen to His voice and what He is shaping our lives into.

Things can stop us from feeling the presence of God and in Psalm 68 the particular matters which may waylay us are mentioned as “lusting after tribute” and “delighting in war.” Affirmation and support in what we do is important but looking for constant praise and “feeding off that” can be self-destructive. There are some in the church (and in other walks of life), who help others in order to make their own selves feel good. Those are not the right reasons and we should guard against this. Ours should be a self-sacrificial love for others. Wars between nations of course, even in this day and age, are never far away, and it is sad that we never seem to learn from the past.

The Psalm ends with the words “Blessed be God”. He is our beginning, our end, and our life’s companion.

Meditation

1. FIND A QUIET PLACE. 

Sit comfortably but alert – feet flat on the floor, back pushed hard against the back of the chair. Start your reflection by being open and ready to God’s presence.

2. 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.

3. 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 and repeat verse 32 to yourself. Feel  God’s presence.

4. Listen to God

In the stillness, listen to what God might be saying to you. Finish with the prayer below.

5. Finish with this prayer:

Heavenly Father, you are our constant in life’s troubles. Help us to listen to your voice each day in our lives and help us to experience that feeling of joy of living in increasing harmony and creativity with you. To the praise of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

After this period of peace, you may like to listen to one of my favourite groups, the Sons of Korah, who sing wonderful modern Psalm compositions. This is a very lively version of part of Psalm 68!

Listen HERE

Posted on February 10th 2022

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