Scripture: Psalm 111
Key verse: (10) “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever.”
Reflection: This is a psalm in praise of the LORD. After Christmas you might feel more thankful than usual! You made it through another holiday season of festivities. Praise the LORD! This psalm offers us some things to be thankful for – the LORD’s provision of grace and mercy; redemption; and faithfulness to us that lasts forever. Sometimes we don’t realize how precious these things are until we are tested by life. The challenges and even the pain and suffering of human life can make us more grateful in the long run for God’s remarkable covenant with us. The psalmist writes that the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. This is not the kind of fear that makes us afraid; but rather the awe that arises when we experience God’s enduring presence and power in the midst of the ordinary days of our lives. Practicing this kind of awe toward the LORD creates the understanding that God is with us – always – so that even when we wonder where God may be we know God is near. When we struggle it can be hard and sometimes impossible to feel God’s power or protection. Praising God before life tests us, will give us strength for the difficult times. It is wise to practice this kind of devotion. Today’s psalm is a “pre-pain” psalm because no description of terrible hardship is found in the midst of the psalmist’s praise. The “pre-pain” psalms have an important influence on our lives equipping us for times of trouble. With a new year about start, this might be a good time to consider how you will cultivate faith in your life in the coming year. Reading the psalms devotionally is one way to do this. Practicing the “fear of the LORD” will help us cultivate wisdom. Praise the LORD!
Prayer: O LORD, we praise you for this day. Thank you for the gift of life and the world our home. Remind us of our many blessings and your enduring presence among us. Where there is pain and heartache this day, lift up those who need your loving grace and mercy. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Author: Deborah Conner
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].