There’s obviously a lot in this Psalm – The majority of it is speaking of the futility of the kings of the earth seeking to go against the Lord and the Lord’s plans. But as I read it this morning and have been thinking about it through the day, I keep coming back to the last verse…
How blessed are all who take shelter in him…
How blessed indeed. There are lots of things that we could conceivably use for “shelter” – We all have those ways of seeking to cope with the challenges of life. Some of them are healthy, some not so much. For me, there are lots of things that I go to in times of stress – I go to novels, to movies, to video games- all of them can serve as escapes from the realities that life sometimes brings. But none of them are really a shelter like the Psalmist speaks of here. The picture here today is a shelter of the Lord – a place where I can so often hear God’s still, small voice speaking clearly into my life and the situations of life. I feel a deep sense of peace when I am surrounded by the beauty of Creation. I am especially drawn to places like this where it seems that I am walking into a tunnel of green – the lush trees overgrow over the path and even if the sun is shining, it is only experienced filtered through the leaves and foliage. There is a stillness that I experience in places like this, a stillness that translates into the depth of my soul. For me, that is shelter.
Why do the nations rebel?
Why are the countries devising plots that will fail?
The kings of the earth form a united front;
the rulers collaborate
against the Lord and his anointed king.
They say, “Letʼs tear off the shackles theyʼve put on us!
Letʼs free ourselves from their ropes!”
The one enthroned in heaven laughs in disgust;
the Lord taunts them.
Then he angrily speaks to them
and terrifies them in his rage, saying,
“I myself have installed my king
on Zion, my holy hill.”
The king says, “I will announce the Lordʼs decree. He said to me:
ʻYou are my son! This very day I have become your father!
and I will give you the nations as your inheritance,
the ends of the earth as your personal property.
You will break them with an iron scepter;
you will smash them like a potterʼs jar!ʼ”
So now, you kings, do what is wise;
you rulers of the earth, submit to correction!
Serve the Lord in fear!
Repent in terror!
Give sincere homage!
Otherwise he will be angry,
and you will die because of your behavior,
when his anger quickly ignites.
How blessed are all who take shelter in him!