for the waters have come up to my neck. [...]
Do not let the floodwaters engulf me
or the depths swallow me up
(Psalm 69:1,15 NIV)
Language like this is all over the psalms. Much of it is metaphorical, and as such we can relate to it. But I believe there is a level of dependance on God's active, physical, work for protection and salvation that we often miss.
This week as the hurricane raged around us, shaking the house, reading from the psalms and Genesis took on new significance (see this post). The very physical, tangible and even dangerous presence of the storm around us gave us a new perspective on God's power and God's care.
Awe. What does that word mean to you? I would argue that very often the writers of scripture understood God's power in very literal ways. Even thunderstorms are impressive and even frightening when you live in a tent. Perhaps their fear and awe of nature gave them a richer understanding of the fear and worship of God.
Helplessness. For those of you on the East coast this past week, did you feel helpless to do anything about the storm's possible destruction? I can only imagine the feelings of those in the Caribbean who face larger storms from within much weaker structures.
Because you are my help,Yesterday in the relative calm after the storm, I pondered this verse. What is "the shadow of your wings"? It is place of protection, of warmth and freedom from terror. It is only as much a cause for rejoicing as the dangers outside are cause for fear. Only in understanding the danger do we see how remarkable it is that he can sing in the strength of that shelter.
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you;
your right hand upholds me.
|shelter from the storm|
The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” (Matt 8:27)