Journal Ps 124-125 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “If it had not been the Lord who was on our side—
Let Israel now say—
If it had not been the Lord who was on our side when people rose up against us…then they would have swallowed us up alive, when their anger was kindled against us; then the flood would have swept us away, the torrent would have gone over us; then over us would have gone the raging waters.
Blessed be the Lord who has not given us as prey to their teeth!
We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowlers—the snare is broken, and we have escaped!
Our help is in the Name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Ps 124.
Observation: Constructing prayer and praise can take time. It is not always spontaneous but can be the product of much meditation…especially if it is for public consumption…
Application: I was taken by the repetition of the first sentence: “If it had not been the Lord who was on our side…”
And then the Psalmist exhorted and commanded the people to repeat it. The emphasis may have resulted in a stronger and more vocal, LOUD response: “IF IT HAD NOT BEEN THE LORD WHO WAS ON OUR SIDE…”
The predominant thought that occurs to me was this psalm was the result of much meditation, much thinking, much contemplation, and reflection on a specific occurrence.
I must work at meditation.
Even acknowledging that my attention span is trained by the universal TV standard, and I need to do better, I consistently fail. If I get in a good 5 minutes of prayer before my mind starts wandering off, I am patting myself on the back.
But, in the stark daylight of reviewing my performance, I know different.
That is why writing is preferable. Writing is good. Journalling is an exercise of health among disciples of Jesus. The proverb is true: “A short pencil is better than a long memory.”
Writing may feel like a wooden exercise; an exercise that “doesn’t flow with the Spirit” and isn’t spontaneous. What writing does is exercise the mind and creates disciplined thoughts; it trains for righteousness by creating skill:
“…for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness…” (Heb 5:13)
It organizes thoughts so that rambling doesn’t happen.
It supports the learning of and internalizing “sound doctrine.”
Writing keeps the preaching of the Gospel and learning of godliness consistent and repetitive.
Prayer: Father, imprint me with your Word, in my mind, my heart, and my writing. As I write and review, I get to see the growth in me that you initiate, and/or the consistency of your Word implanted.
Thank you for men who write. Thank you for the conviction of men who, while not doing it now, want to write. Help them carve the time out to serve the future generations.
Ricky Two Shoes