Psalms for Prayer: Day 19

A Prayer Celebrating the Gift of Jesus

by

Today's Text: Psalm 2:1-12

Scripture Reading: Psalm 2:1-12

I like to be the first one awake at my house. However, I don’t like to set an alarm clock because of my dedication to the mysterious idea of sleep cycles. So instead, I play a pillow-cushioned game of Russian roulette every morning. When my body needs more sleep, I let the old girl sleep. But sometimes it all works out so that I have this gorgeous window of time—typing, planning, organizing—setting the stage for the day ahead before anyone else is awake.

One morning I was up at 5 a.m., feeling strong. I filled my arms full of things I wanted to carry into the kitchen: cups from last night, my phone, a clipboard, my little portable speaker, and a few rolls of washi tape ringed around my thumb. Juggling all of this in the dark, I preemptively nudged my phone to start playing some quiet piano music, because it usually takes a while to load.

But here are a couple things I didn’t know: First, my phone was already linked to the portable speaker. And second, everything was set at full volume. (Oh, and one thing you didn’t know: there were nine other people, too, sleeping nearby.) So in the pre-dawn light, on my way to some quiet, productive time in the kitchen, I found myself in the middle of the house, my arms uncomfortably full, clutching a speaker that was inexplicably bellowing the climax from Handel’s Messiah: “WOR-THY IS THE LAMB, THAT WAS SLAIN!”

I circled around like a toy car, fumbling to turn the music off in the dark, and somehow succeeded in making the volume louder still—probably because my eyes were mostly squinted shut from laughing. And since you can’t shush a speaker, it took me a while to get quiet again.

I think we sometimes want to keep Jesus in a little quiet box too. The title of today’s reading is “A Prayer Celebrating the Gift of Jesus,” and honestly, I’d expected to be writing about a sweet Christmas baby Jesus as our joy to the world. But this psalm is about the almighty dominion of Christ. He did come as a baby, yes, but He is also the omnipotent King of kings.

The psalmist calls us to “serve the Lord with reverential awe, and rejoice with trembling” (Psalm 2:11). He is a God we cannot control and cannot fully comprehend. Our proper response is to worship Him. It’s easier to think of Jesus as our pocket-sized best friend, but we need to remember that He rules and reigns the cosmos. He is a paradox, making His love for us all the more potent. We must pay Him homage, for He is our King, and all who take refuge in Him are happy.

This paradox is a beautiful and central tenet of our faith: “kiss the Son, lest He be angry” (v.12). Our God comes low to love mankind, but He remains just and unchanging, righteous and holy. We are sloppy and funny and sneaky. His love for His wishy-washy creation is so wonderful, but it doesn’t change who He is; who He has always been—the King of all creation. So we worship at the feet of this mystery we cannot control. And we celebrate the gift of Jesus, both as a baby and as King.

SRT-PsalmsForPrayer-Shareimage-Day19

  • Abbigail Clark

    How blessed are we that he loves us in all our wish-washiness ❤️

  • Leah Moore

    She says, “all who take refuge in Him are happy”. I’m struggling with that today, because I’m not sure happiness is a part of the deal…? It would have made sense to me if she had said, “all who take refuge in Him find peace”, but happiness? In this world? Am I missing something?

    • Brie Claassen

      I agree! Or maybe even joy would have been a better word… But I don’t know that we are guaranteed happiness at all. We are guaranteed to suffer though! Peace that passes understanding makes more sense to me…

      • Amy (Claassen) Geer

        The Hebrew word here is esher, meaning “blessed”. Some translations use the word happy instead of blessed, but in this context it makes a little more sense to me.
        On another note, my maiden name is Claassen and it is so rare to find others spelled that way, so hi!

    • Brittany Lawrence

      My version says the word Joy. Happiness and joy are two different things. We can find joy in our circumstances when we cling to the Lord.

    • Susie Given

      I think our joy, blessing, “happiness” in Jesus is found in the first part of that verse…”kiss the Son”, one version says “submit to the Son”. The blessing hinges on that.

    • Emily Bennett

      I think she misused the word happiness and really meant joy. Happiness is changed by circumstance, but you can have joy through Jesus Christ despite your circumstances. Someone also pointed out the Hebrew word that’s used here also meant blessed, which I think makes more sense because you can be blessed despite your circumstances as well :)

    • Madeline Croswell

      My pastor just spoke on joy yesterday! I was amazed because often times we find ourselves searching for happiness, but it joy that we actually seek. Joy comes from being in a personal relationship with Christ and being joyful due to his love and peace. Whereas, happiness is circumstantial. My pastor revealed to the congregation that happiness is often times something we feel is almost “owed” to us. In our world today we are constantly searching for happiness in all the wrong places. We look for happiness in things that are fleeting. What we should be trying to seek is joy that comes from Christ alone.

    • Christine Kelly

      I understand where you’re coming from! I think “happy” is another word for “blessed”, which is the word the Psalm uses: “Blessed are all those who take refuge in Him.” I’ve heard that the Biblical words blessed and happy can be used interchangeably, but I think we would have to understand the word “happy” to mean more of a spiritual happiness, not the kind of fleeting happiness the world gives. In this world we have so much trouble, and our bodies also carry in themselves so much brokenness that stand in the way of happiness; however, if we can truly take refuge in Christ and His promises, there is a spiritual blessedness, or “happiness”, that comes with it. Hope that helps! I understand the fight for happiness, even joy. You are not alone!

  • Jessica McCreary

    ❤️

  • This was so beautiful. Thank you.

  • Gina Glennon

    Love this Psalm and the commentary! Oh, the joy to bow before our King of kings and Lord of lords! Hallelujah! Jesus reigns!

  • Beth Starkey

    My heart swells with gratefulness.
    Thank you all for your prayers. I am not alone! God has shone through you with encouragement and the reminder that He is there and He is working. SO grateful. Thank you! Praise God! He is Alpha and Omega.

  • Monica Davis

    Amen

  • God is convicting me these days regarding my love for Him. Do I even comprehend at times who He is. How awesome He is. Today’s devotion was a reminder for the same. How privileged am I to be called His child, His friend!

  • I love how there is a short story before the lesson! It just helps you understand so much better!

  • Amanda Montgomery

    Oh, where to begin with this! Yes, Churchmouse’s comments below and the writer’s above hits such an amazing tone in all of our hearts who believe. We feel nothing but amazement and inexplicable awe as we read this LIVING Word. We can surely see this isn’t about the sweet and small baby Jesus. This is about the God-King, Jesus, with ALL authority and dominion over ALL things. Fighting against Him is so useless (Father, open the eyes of those who don’t believe you to see this!). Yes, we cannot control and we cannot comprehend Him–so good. Despite our lack of comprehension of all He is, we are steadfast and sure beyond any doubt whatsoever that this King is real and true and yes, Churchmouse, so so good. Praise Him. Praise God for His inexplicable gift of Jesus. Thank you, SRT, for bringing this study to us that has brought us into a posture of praise of the Ruler of our hearts!

  • Love this part…thank you—–>>>> He is a God we cannot control and cannot fully comprehend. Our proper response is to worship Him. It’s easier to think of Jesus as our pocket-sized best friend, but we need to remember that He rules and reigns the cosmos.

  • I appreciated this post today. It was one of those rare mornings when I was up before the kids (like you wrote about). I do think of Jesus sometimes as a “pocket-sized best friend” and don’t often worship Him like the king He is. Thank you for the reminder. Praising Jesus for my many blessings. And praying for so many others in the comments, especially the mothers who’ve lost children.

  • Chris Gruhlke

    Praying for you and your sweet little blessing!

  • Praying for you Beth.

  • Churchmouse

    Today’s Psalm and devotion bring this C. S. Lewis quote to mind :

    “Aslan is a lion-the Lion, the great Lion.”
    “Ooh,” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a Lion.. .”
    “Safe?” said Mr. Beaver.. “Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

    He is so much more than what we think and imagine and what our finite minds can comprehend. But if I remember that at all times and in all things He is good, then I can live without fear and anxiety. Not easy. But He never said this life on earth as His follower would be easy. But it can be good.

  • Beth Starkey

    He IS mighty. He is our shelter. Yet, I must confess I struggle. I struggle in these moments of wondering why He had to allow our baby girl to be born too early. I struggle! I trust that He will redeem this. I trust that He, in His faithfulness, will make this seem a “holy struggle” as I look back on it one day. But, I must confess sisters… I crave your prayer. In these late hours of laying in bed not understanding… scouring God’s Word for answers… trusting doesn’t mean understanding. There are some things I won’t ever know. But… I would just love to know that He hears me and He sees me… and, He won’t neglect me. He hasn’t yet.

    • Rose

      Sending prayers Beth..

    • April M

      Praying for you Beth!

    • Tonia

      Plkkkkkkkkk
      Praying right now for you Beth, May the peace of the Lord that passes all understanding be upon you and your love ones. Be still and know that He is God and He is in control. He wraps His loving arms around you right now to comfort you on all sides.

    • Susie Hall

      My heart aches fo you sweet Beth, I too hope that the struggles I’ve had to face this last year…. I lost my two month old beautiful little boy… I’m praying for you today although with prayers for your sweet little girl… I don’t have any other words other than a mother’s plea for you to God in prayer.

    • Churchmouse

      Praying for you along with all the others. He will not and has not left you not forsaken you. But I hear your aching pain and longing for understanding. There are mysteries but that is small comfort in the midst of severe circumstance. So I pray simply for His loving presence to be felt through those who love and support you and that His peace would cover you as a warm blanket.

    • SB Taunton

      Beth, prayers for you and your family during this time. Keep crying out to Him! I got involved in a GriefShare group recently after the death of my brother. It was amazing! When you’re ready, I encourage you to look them up!

    • Krusten

      Praying for God’s peace and comfort. My baby was stillborn. She was beautiful and I could understand why, I blamed myself too. Of course it wasn’t my fault, but that was my response. I was invited to go to a new church after her burial. I was angry when I saw the clapping and praising. I was brought up Catholic so it was foreign to me. One woman caught my attention. I figured her life was perfect and that’s why she had that joy. God used her to tell me to run to Him and not away from Him. She had also lost a child. The grieving process wasn’t easy, but God used her life for good. My daughter never took a breath on this Earth, but her life had a purpose. So many things have come from her precious life. God used her to help me and others. I will see her again! Right now, I ask God to do whatever you need Him to. I know He won’t leave you ever in Jesus’ Name Amen

      • Beth Starkey

        Amen Krusten! Thank you! Yes. Praying for God to be glorified… that He would redeem this!

    • lynne

      Beth I am praying for you. God is near to the broken hearted. I struggle like you about asking God why a lot when I know that He can change things,but yet he allows the struggles that we have . He is sovereign so he could change it but he doesn’t. This is hard. We question because it doesn’t make since to us here but I believe that it will in eternity. God says in his word that he works all things to the good to those who love him and are called according to his purpose. I will be praying for you and your sweet little girl. Have a blessed day and know that the Lord does love you very much.

    • Cathy Tubby

      Beth, I am lifting you up in prayer right now, that you will feel His presence with you in your struggle. I pray that you will feel Him hear your worries and anger, that you will feel Him comfort your weeping. I pray that He will wrap you up in His Spirit that you may know His love.

    • Jenny

      He is El Roi (the God who sees) and El Shama or Ishmael (the God who hears). He does see you and hear you, even when you don’t speak. Praying for you as you wrestle this out with Him.

      • Beth Starkey

        Wow! I literally just read those stories today. Thank you, Jenny!

    • CJ

      Hi Beth. I am praying for you. For comfort. For understanding. Sending you a hug from Michigan. <3

    • Pam

      Lifting you and your family up in prayer.

    • J F

      Praying for you right now. He is in this blazing furnace with you. The Israelites felt abandoned in Egypt and these were God’s comforting words to them and to you…

    • J F

      Praying for you right now, Beth and Susie. Jesus is standing with you in this blazing furnace of grief and bewilderment. Ex 3:7 reminds us that God knows…..I see your affliction…I hear your cry…I know your sorrows. My heart hurts with yours as your journey through unimaginable loss and my heart hopes with certainty that your sorrow will be gloriously redeemed.

      • Beth Starkey

        Thank you SO much for helping stand in the gap and for hoping and praying with us and for us! Beautiful reminder.

    • Amanda Montgomery

      Father, wrap your loving, peace-giving and caring arms around Beth today and everyday. We know that every single one of her tears matter to You. Give her the gift of understanding your goodness and your faithfulness and that you’ll never ever leave her.

    • Elle

      Praying for you Beth, and all those walking through the midst of such deep grief. I pray also that you would encouraged by the fact that your little ones are in the arms of Jesus. Your grief, sorrow, pain has not gone unseen by God.

      Psalm 38:9 says,” All my longings lie open before you, Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you. Let His Word & truths wash over you as you pour your heart out to Him. He is for you!

      • Beth Starkey

        Thank you for the reminder of this verse. Thank you for prayers, Elle!

    • Katie Morrison

      Tonight I am praying for you. I pray you have rest. I pray that as you don’t know what to say and how to pray that the Holy Spirit will intercede through the groans of your heart. I love you my sister.

    • Katie Morrison

      The hardest thing I ever had to do was forgive God for my dad’s passing. He was only 48 and healthy. I know it’s not God’s fault, but deep down I was so upset that the father of fathers let this happen. I was confused, angry, all of the stages of grief. I knew I loved and trusted Jesus and I just couldn’t understand. After months of struggling but going through the motions of my Christian walk, it hit me like a ton of bricks. God’s grace and love is beyond what I could even comprehend. He died so I could see my dad again. He didn’t want him to die. It wasn’t His will, but I only see my side of the picture. Theres a reason He allowed this and it was full of Fatherly grace, mercy and protection. Even if it doesn’t look like it to me. I won’t see the why this side of heaven, but I will see it after I’m reunited with my dad. And I will see my dad again. Some days I still feel these emotions, but I have hope and peace. It never stops hurting but my pain is a reminder that my spirit longs for our reunion that is impending. I love you. I am sorry you have to walk through this. I will pray for you. Your sisters are praying for you.

      • Beth Starkey

        And amen! This earth is not our final destiny! Death is a new beginning in God, by the grace of Jesus! So grateful to be reminded of the promise and truth of eternity.

Further Reading...