Regular nibbles from the Bible. . .come for a bite, leave with an appetite

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight. (Psalm 19:14, MSG)

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


David danced deliriously as he worshipped the Lord.

Solomon shouted at the top of his lungs. Oh, what poetry in his words, at the dedication of the Temple:

May he never give up and walk out on us. May he keep us centered and devoted to him, following the life path he has cleared, watching the signposts, walking at the pace and rhythms he laid down for our ancestors. (1 Kings 8:56-58)

,Yesterday I looked at God's threat to not dwell among the Israelites if Solomon (and the people) failed to keep the law.  One of the saddest passages in the entire Bible is the departure of God's glory from the temple, during Ezekiel's time.

How--revolutonary--it must have seemed when Jesus promised "I am with you always, even to the end of the world." God is never going to give up on us or walk out on us.

But Solomon's prayer for our part of the covenant remains as vital as ever:

Keep us centered; Keep us devoted to him.  I suspect that Solomon's use of "centered" and "devoted" is an example of parallelism in Hebrew poetry. Devoted is meant to repeat and build upon centered.

I find them picturesque. Centered implies that our lives revolve around God.  Everything in our lives--our thoughts, our work, our food, our actions, our worship, our relationships--should remain at the same distance from God. There should be no Sunday Christians.

Of course, none of us are perfectly centered.

Devoted touches on focus. The more we devote ourselves to God, making Him the touchstone against which we measure every decision, the more our lives will be centered on Him.

Lofty goals. I notice that Solomon asked for God's help. He acknowledged the people couldn't, wouldn't, do it on their own. We can ask God for the same, to do for us what we can't do for ourselves.

The following things are more in our control. There are things we can do to help keep us centered and focused.

Watch the signposts. Not every day requires a signpost, but we don't always know when we'll need it.
Wherever we are on the "life path," whether we headed down a straight path or ready to turn, we need to watch out for the signposts. God will always point the way.

Walk at the pace he set down for us.  Walk at the rhythm he set down for us. Like centered and focused above, pace and rhythm have a similar meaning. Both the speed at which we move, and the
patterns and fluctuations we develop over time are important. Like a professional athlete, we can benefit from seeking the ideal pace and rhythm God has ordained for us--uniquely our own.

When have we ever been so excited about walking the life-path God has for us, that we have wanted to dance and shout?

Every now and then we might want to walk on the Pentecostal side.


  1. Wonderful post which gives me plenty of food for thought. I've read over Kings before but never really paid that much attention to it. Your posts arouse my interest and make me want to read it again, savoring it slowly.

    Thank you!

  2. Amen, Beverly! I get the most blessing out of these, probably, because it forces to read even the most boring sections keenly and see what God has to say to me. And then I have the privilege of sharing it with you. All kinds of wisdom in Solomon's prayer. I look forward to the version in 1 Chronicles, which includes the verse "If my people which are called by my name . . ."