Thursday February 21 2019

130801-dailydevovisuals-thurs

Scripture: Psalm 80

Key verses: (3, 7, 19)

3   Restore us, O God;
let your face shine, that we may be saved.

7   Restore us, O God of hosts;
let your face shine, that we may be saved.

19  Restore us, O LORD God of hosts;
let your face shine, that we may be saved.

Reflection: “3 is a Magic Number,” is my favorite Schoolhouse Rock song. I still recall the first few lines: “Three is a magic number. Yes, it is. It’s a magic number. Somewhere in the ancient mystic trinity, you get three, as a magic number.”

You can check it out here.

Culturally, we use three’s in many expressions, “third times a charm,” or “three’s a crowd.” The number is prevalent in the Bible in that Noah had three sons, Jonah was inside of the belly of the fish three days and nights, the Trinity, and of course, Jesus’ resurrection after three days.

Therefore, it’s not a surprise the refrain is offered three times in Psalm 80 for emphasis. While not a holy number, it is a significant number in Scripture.

The Israelites are praying: Bring us out of exile, cause us to return to you, O God. Give us our life back. As your face shines, be present with us. Bless us, keep us, be gracious unto us, and give us peace.

It’s a timely prayer today as well, as we can sometimes feel in exile as wars continue around the world, too many children are killed by gun violence in this country, and affordable housing is more and more of a challenge each day in our city.

As I pray to God, I often find myself repeating prayers over and over and over again. Three times feels complete, like I’ve asked the appropriate amount of times. The first time can feel like a plea, the second time, like it’s right, and the third time for finality. Three is a magic number!

Prayer: Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved. Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we might be saved. Restore us, O Lord God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved. Amen.

Author: Amy Speas

[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].

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