Trusting God is hard. Trusting that all things work for good is hard. How can COVID be good? How can a bad economy be good? How can not being able to be with our loved ones be good? A lot of this hasn’t been good.
For the psalmist, that isn’t the question. For the psalmist, it is that God hears, answers, and remembers. This doesn’t mean that everything will be easy going forward. It means that God is with you.
Assuming that this written by or about David, note that there really isn’t a mention of rescue. Not really. David had experienced many hard times (some as a consequence of his own actions). God didn’t spare him hard times. God was with David and responded to David in the hard times. Much of this would seem to come from David’s rhythm of worship and communion with God. From what we can gather (which is, granted, limited), David had a regular practice of seeking God.
The pattern that the Israelites had wandering in the wilderness was different. Most of us cannot imagine being wanderers, whether the Bedouins of the Arabian Peninsula or the homeless around the corner. The Israelites had a wandering pattern for 40 years.
The pattern wasn’t fully predictable. For those of you have traveled with children, or been in the military, the ability to gather everyone and their stuff in a short amount of time is trying. Imagine trying to do that every day. Most nomadic cultures move about seasonally, but the Scriptures imply that more than once they got settled down for the night, and had to pack the next day.
During pauses between travel time, the Tabernacle (or The Tent of Meeting) would be assembled, and worship would begin. While we can read the takedown and set up, what we miss is the worship that goes along with it. The cloud was the presence of God. We can assume that on the Sabbath that they would not travel (it’s a safe assumption, at least).
While this seems strange to us—especially for those that worship at the same building week after week—we can read in Revelation worship that is beyond our comprehension. 24 people praising God day and night, and saying the same thing. While this is really a vision, thus not necessarily exactly how it will work, the difference between the Israelites wandering and the people praising would seem to be stark.
It is. It is, that is, only if you focus on the how. Worship of God is not limited to a building one day a week. Communion with God is not necessarily in that perfect time. Both can happen at any time. We just need to be looking for it.
- What do you think these different visions of worship and life rhythms tell us about God?
- What do you think these different visions of worship and life rhythms tell us about ourselves?
- Do any of these cause to reflect on any changes that are possible for you worship rhythms?