Scripture Spotlight: Psalm 145:14-21
Guess what? I’ve managed to be organized enough to remember that the second Saturday of each month, I’m doing a Scripture Spotlight! 😀 I had this all prepared early, too.
I could write about something I’ve read in my regular Bible reading lately, but I think I’m going to talk to you about Psalm 145.
I realized that I haven’t spent much time memorizing Scripture in a long time. And I’m not saying that, to be a good Christian, you have to have regular Scripture memory time. I know it’s hard for some people to memorize things, particularly the references. It’s not about the knowledge you accumulate; it’s about hiding His Word in your heart. There are many people who really KNOW and understand the Bible, even without knowing bunches of verses and references word for word.
But anyway. That disclaimer aside, I am trying to GET to the point where I KNOW His word. And since memorization doesn’t come that hard to me, I’ma try to work at it. I’ll start by picking passages that have been comforting or encouraging or challenging to me already in my walk, and trying to get those down. So I’m going with Psalm 145. Or at least the last 8 verses or so. It starts off with 13 verses of praising God for His mighty works and many miracles, and about how the Psalmist will declare His wondrous deeds and all that. Then, from 14 on, is my favorite part of the passage:
14 The Lord helps the fallen
and lifts those bent beneath their loads.
15 The eyes of all look to you in hope;
you give them their food as they need it.
16 When you open your hand,
you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing.
17 The Lord is righteous in everything he does;
he is filled with kindness.
18 The Lord is close to all who call on him,
yes, to all who call on him in truth.
19 He grants the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cries for help and rescues them.
20 The Lord protects all those who love him,
but he destroys the wicked.
21 I will praise the Lord,
and may everyone on earth bless his holy name
forever and ever.
(I usually use NASB, but when I first read this I had a New Living Translation Bible with me, and that’s how I remember the wording hitting me. So I’m going to use that version for this blog.)
I remember first coming across this Psalm one morning in New Life, when I was out by myself praying and feeling discouraged. I don’t remember what I was discouraged about, but I remember parts of this really hitting home. Let me go through the 4 verses I mediated on the most.
14: “The Lord helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads.”
It’s easy for ministers to feel “bent beneath their loads”. It’s easy for ANY person, Christian or otherwise, to feel that way. Sometimes you feel like you’re not good enough, or you feel like nothing’s making a difference. Weariness and discouragement run rampant across the lives of people. God says that He cares about those burdened, falling people, and that He will help us and lift us up. It’s a great promise.
15: “The eyes of all look to You in hope; You give them their food as they need it.”
God takes care of us and provides. But He does it “as we need it”. Which means sometimes we feel hungry and cry out for God to answer right away, because we can’t see how we can possibly take any more. But He doesn’t always answer right away. Just how parents sometimes tell their children “no” when they whine that they’re starving 15 minutes after lunch, sometimes God just says, “Remember what I just did for you? I’ve taken care of you, and you’ve forgotten it already?” Maybe that was why He put the emphasis on Moses and the Israelites telling the stories of His miracles to their children. (And why it’s at the beginning of this chapter.) God always comes through when HE knows we need it, and sometimes we need to just remember His faithfulness and trust Him.
18: “The Lord is close to all who call on Him; yes, to all who call on Him in truth.”
What does this mean? There are lots of verses throughout Scripture that have these encouraging promises, followed by a… a condition? I feel like that word will bother some people. But it’s the best I can think of. Does “all who call on Him in truth” mean that we have to understand the gospel? Or does it merely mean that our hearts are truly calling to Him for help? Is there a level of repentance or understanding that is required, or does He mean that He knows when we’re faking and when we’re genuine?
19: “He grants the desires of those who fear Him; He hears their cries for help and rescues them.”
Again, God doesn’t just promise to willy-nillily (heehee, makin’ it an adverb) fulfill the desires of everybody ever. He CARES about us and our desires, but He cares about our hearts. And He promises to take special care of those who fear Him. When we cry out, He rescues us. Now, we as Christians have plenty of desires. Smaller things like getting a specific job to dating a specific person… or heartfelt passions, like wanting to make a difference in people coming to Christ, or yearning to understand more of God and His Word. And sometimes God DOES give us all of those desires, even the little ones. His heart is for us. But I think, most of all, He wants to nurture our holy and God-given desires for Him and for the kingdom. He is pleased when we’re passionate about Him, and He wants to fulfill us and use us for His glory.
Those are the verses that stuck out to me when I first read it. I think the whole passage just shows you a lot about God’s character; the first 13 verses extol Him for His miracles and wonders, and then it’s followed up with a look at His heart and His compassion. It’s an encouraging chapter, and I’m looking forward to figuring out the best way to memorize it.
P.S. Update: earlier this week I put most of the lyrics of these verses into a song! I ended up using the NASB because it worked better rhythmically. I’ve always wanted to try it to see if it will help me memorize. And it worked pretty well!