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May 16, 2023 - Psalms 38-42

There is a reoccurring theme found in the Scriptures (many of them, of course): We look not to others or even ourselves but to our God for validation and approval. That’s not to say that a good reputation among people is irrelevant; Solomon tells us, “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches” (Proverbs 22:1). The Bible tells us of many whose characters were exemplary, people admired by both God and man.

Surrounded by those who wished for his downfall, David declared, “ But for you, O Lord, do I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer” (38:15). Job looked for validation not from his friends but, ultimately, from the Lord. Through his prophet, the Lord promised, “They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31). Oh, with David and Job and Isaiah, to look to the Lord, to rest in him, to long to hear him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:21)! Here is true contentment. Here is genuine rest. Here is validation to the utmost degree!

O God, our help in ages past,

our hope for years to come,

our shelter from the stormy blast,

and our eternal home:

Under the shadow of your throne

your saints have dwelt secure;

sufficient is your arm alone,

and our defense is sure. -- Isaac Watts (1719)

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