Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Psalm 47 and national health care

What do we do when we get frustrated with life? How about when we are frustrated with the world and the power structures that seem to have dominion over our lives? There seems to be a lot of that lately, and it has exploded onto the pages of Facebook and Twitter. National health care, government slowdowns (called a shutdown, but let's face it - the government has not stopped), and politics in general.

One place we can go is the the Psalms, referred to by Dietrich Bonhoeffer as the "prayer book of the Bible." And one Psalm in particular showed up in my reading plan this morning - I think just in time. Read it carefully, slowly, digesting every word. Let it sink in where the real power is. Psalm 47:
Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.
For the LORD Most High is awesome, the great King over all the earth.
He subdued nations under us, peoples under our feet.
He chose our inheritance for us, the price of Jacob, whom he loved.
God has ascended amid shouts of joy, the LORD amid the sounding of trumpets.
Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises.
For God is the King of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise.
God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his holy throne.
The nobles of the nations assemble as the people of the God of Abraham,
for the kings of the earth belong to God, he is greatly exalted. (Emphasis mine) 
 What a marvelous Psalm! In it we see that the God of Israel is not just the king of the chosen people; he is the King of all the earth. Every king, every power, every authority has been made subject to his rule. There is no power that exists outside of his control. Pharaoh's Egypt. Nero's Rome. Stalin's Russia. Idi Amin's Uganda. Who was in charge?

God. God reigns over the nations...the kings of the earth belong to God.

So when I'm tempted to get bent out shape about earthly powers, I can come back to this prayer, this Psalm.

Will everything turn out like I want it to? Will my health care remain affordable for me? Will government provide every service I need? Will I continue to experience the lifestyle I've grown used to?

Maybe, maybe not. Probably not. But it doesn't matter, because life is not about my comfort, my needs, my happiness. It's about bringing glory to the only true God, whether in plenty or want.

So I will sleep well tonight, knowing that YHWH is the King over all the earth, and above all kings. Whatever they do to me, it will be for his glory. Bring it on.

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