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Commendation, not Exhortation

Updated: Mar 8

Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16; Exodus 6:1-13; Acts 7:35-42

We who are full of innate depravity and self-conviction get into the bad habit of flinching when we're about to read the bible. How will our wrongs be pointed out today? It occurred to me that the Psalm in the daily lectionary today (and for Sunday's lectionary) is refreshingly different. "You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty," says the Psalm. Note that it does not say "You who should live in the shelter of the Most High and abide in the shadow of the Almighty." It is addressing the people who are already faithful, who already trust the Lord, who already know that God is almighty and already feel the good feelings that come from the loving care and shelter that God gives us. There's no exhortation here. The voice is one of commendation. Those who live and abide in the protection of Almighty God get all the "rights, privileges and honors appertaining thereunto." I haven't read the omitted section (that's not the game here), but the rest of the reading in the Psalm for today's lectionary is just listing the consequences of trusting God, which the addressees are already doing. The Psalmist says "good job" and counts the blessings.