I USED TO
Suggested Reading: Psalms 42-44
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Key Verse: Psalm 44:1-2a
We have heard with our ears, O God,
Our fathers have told us,
The deeds You did in their days,
In days of old:
You drove out the nations with Your hand,
But them You planted…
“The good old days” may not have been so good after all! We have a tendency to exaggerate how good it was in days gone by. Psalm 44 reviews some bad days too. It is obvious that God’s long-term purposes include the good and the bad events of our lives. Today’s reading ends with a prayer; God will put the final period to the history book of our lives!
In the first two chapters of our Bible reading, Psalms 42 & 43, the same question is asked in each of these writings…”Why are you cast down, O my soul?” The words “cast down” were very familiar to the shepherd King David. When a sheep is on its back, it is unable to turn over and get up. It will lie there and eventually die unless someone helps it to turn over. We need a shepherd who cares about us, and in fact we have such a Shepherd. In both Psalms we find the life-saving answer to being “cast down.” It is “Hope in God!” An answer to the question, “Why are you cast down, O my soul?” may be found in the previous verse, 42:4, “I USED TO GO…TO THE HOUSE OF GOD…” Worshiping together with others, along with the teaching of God’s Word by a caring shepherd pastor, will put us back on our feet; we’ll be able to feed on green pastures and drink from the still waters.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord God, my soul thirsts for You like a deer in the desert looking for water to drink. I hear “the noise of Your waterfalls.” I drink from Your Word and Your refreshing presence. I pray that I will be faithful to go to Your altar, “To God my exceeding joy” (43:4). Amen!!!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
I’m in church every Sunday. Some Sundays I’m asked to bring a message from God’s Word, but at 77 years old, most Sundays I’m there to be blessed by the ministry of others. I’m no longer “cast down.” As both Psalms 42 and 43 tell me, I’m no longer “disquieted.” Life is sorted out. I’m content, and my spirit is calm and peaceful. The Apostle Paul writes, “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some.” I’m reading from the New Testament, Hebrews 10:22-25. If for some reason I don’t get out to church, I’m conscious of an emptiness in my life that day.
Norma-Jean and I lived for 18 years on the farm and in the farmhouse where she was born. We kept sheep for many of those years. When it came time to sheer the sheep, I would help to turn the sheep over onto their backs (cast down). They resisted, of course, but I learned how to do it successfully. We sold the wool, but most of all we enjoyed the sheep. Norma-Jean was the true shepherd. She helped many as they were being born. Some of the little lambs she had to feed from a bottle. They knew her and she knew them by name. When she called them, they came running. I could call all day and they would ignore me! Like our Lord, she spent much time with the sheep and they knew her voice.
Yours for green pasture and still waters,