Day 41 | Jason Valdez
My impression of Solomon at some point during his praises, probably.
Psalms 72 and 73 tell of a situation we often find ourselves in, especially when we are trying to find that foothold onto higher ground. For Solomon, higher ground was his vision of heaven on the earth.
The entirety of the first Psalm is his exuberant proclamation of God in all glory, raised high, crowned with justice; the One who brings prosperity to the righteous with one hand and shields the poor and powerless in the other. Solomon cries out for God’s blessing over king and country, and he holds nothing back as he calls for all nations to fall in awe before God. It is almost like we find Sol rebelling against what the world itself has claimed to be, defiantly roaring “God has shown me greater!”
“May all the godly flourish during his reign.
May there be abundant prosperity until the moon is no more.”
It is this vibrant pulse, beating strong, that flows through many of the Psalms. These declarations of godly justice, fortune and praise paint Sol as a pretty faithful man, having put all this noise out for all to hear. We see hope in these words. However, we read on and find that not everyone is one the same page.
“Did I keep my heart pure for nothing?
Did I keep myself innocent for no reason?”
Asaph remarks how true God is to the faithful, yet finds himself so very close to losing his hold. He goes on to lament how the wicked revel in their wealth, casting faith aside to follow the waves of their own making. The people mumble and question: where is God in all of this? How do the faithful find themselves wrung out and left to dry while evil can flourish so effortlessly? How does good compare to the vainglorious? And here’s the hard part: I was Asaph.
Raised in faith, church all week, camps and missional retreats, Vigilias, etc., there was no end to the effort on my end and of my community to try and reach higher ground. Growing up, it only seemed to make sense that the faithful would one day be rewarded, so I pressed on. Time passed, and I saw those unlike me in many ways, living great lives apart from faith. I looked at my lot and saw that I had less. Why try for blessing if what I strived for with broken hands slipped out into unblemished hands?
What utter nonsense that I’ve been handed, that my pain was fruitless save for the scorn of others.
Bad decisions fueled by worse judgement fueling the worst decisions.
Every morning brought me pain. My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone.
But God remains.
But God hears.
But God holds.
It was a new reality rooted in God and not of my own understanding that helped me take the steps away from the proverbial ledge. Whatever fate lay ahead of others, my faith rested in God alone. Truth be told, it isn’t uncommon to find Asaph’s predicament laying heavier on some days than others. The best thing? We serve no trickster of fortune, not a wavering miracle-maker, but God, Thy who is ours forever. The righteous may fall away suddenly, and evil may celebrate their short-lived triumphs, but the story never ends there. We trust God to make sense of it all, so that we may seek out true justice, true prosperity through God alone.
Friends, that truly is a choice for each day. I pray that we face each dawn as Sol once did, telling all about the wonderful things God has done.
“God has shown me greater!”