Week one in Advent focuses on Hope. In the Psalm for today that follows (Psalm 18:1-20 NRSV) David utters a love poem to the God who has rescued him literally from enemies set on destroying his life. I have always longed to hear it prayed as a dramatic reading – someone with a compelling Maya Angelou or James Earl Jones voice. But it would need to be read by someone who loves God because God tore up heaven getting down to the pray-er’s life just in time to save the beleagured from total destruction. The more I read it, the bigger it gets. Note, the punch line of the whole thing is in the closing lines.
So read it slow, know how much God loves you by what God does to get to you on time. Savor the closing verses and allow the One who made you…to love you.
Psalm 18:1-20 NRSV
I love you, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer,
my God, my rock in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised;
so I shall be saved from my enemies.
The cords of death encompassed me;
the torrents of perdition assailed me;
the cords of Sheol entangled me;
the snares of death confronted me.
In my distress I called upon the Lord;
to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears.
Then the earth reeled and rocked;
the foundations also of the mountains trembled
and quaked, because he was angry.
Smoke went up from his nostrils,
and devouring fire from his mouth;
glowing coals flamed forth from him.
He bowed the heavens, and came down;
thick darkness was under his feet.
He rode on a cherub, and flew;
he came swiftly upon the wings of the wind.
He made darkness his covering around him,
his canopy thick clouds dark with water.
Out of the brightness before him
there broke through his clouds
hailstones and coals of fire.
The Lord also thundered in the heavens,
and the Most High uttered his voice.*
And he sent out his arrows, and scattered them;
he flashed forth lightnings, and routed them.
Then the channels of the sea were seen,
and the foundations of the world were laid bare
at your rebuke, O Lord,
at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.
He reached down from on high, he took me;
he drew me out of mighty waters.
He delivered me from my strong enemy,
and from those who hated me;
for they were too mighty for me.
They confronted me in the day of my calamity;
but the Lord was my support.
He brought me out into a broad place;
he delivered me, because he delighted in me.
The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he recompensed me.