Such a reassuring psalm, isn’t it? When King David cries out for safekeeping, he knows where his security lies: “Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.” David knows he is safe in God, who will protect him from whatever threatens.
In most English versions of the Bible, this psalm bears a heading. Does your Bible say, “A Miktam of David”? What does miktam mean? No one knows for sure. It could be a musical term or a way to introduce a particular kind of psalm.
One possible definition of miktam is "to cover." Perhaps David feels vulnerable to his enemies and sings this as an affirmation of trust and safety to God. David knows whose hand he can safely hold.
When we offer support to others, we often say, “I’ve got you covered.” We hope we can follow through with our promise. Sometimes we do; other times we miserably fail. We may wonder, Will the Lord fail me? David knows the answer: Never! I remember seeing a sign above the chancel in a church that read, “Jesus Never Fails.” King David would have yelled out a booming “Amen!” for sure.
While we will fail many times, we can count on the Lord never to let us down. David reminds us God is right next to us. God shelters us and holds us up when we become unsteady.
Does this mean that life will always be rosy? That nothing bad will ever happen? Hardly. This world can deal some tough blows, but remember that God covers us: “For you do not give me up to Sheol, or let your faithful one see the Pit.” David reminds us that God has promised us an eternal safety.
Lord, thank you for standing with us as our secure covering. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This week’s readings open with the dramatic scene of Elijah’s departure. As the prophet is taken into heaven by fiery chariots, his cloak falls to his successor, Elisha—symbolic of the continuation of God’s prophetic work. The psalmist praises the Lord for being the source of all good. The Lord gives guidance, protection, security, and joy. Paul reminds us that freedom in Christ comes with responsibility. We cannot live to satisfy our fleshly desires. If we live in the power of the Spirit, then our manner of life should stand out and bear godly fruit. In the Gospel reading, Jesus challenges his followers with the cost of discipleship. His statements here may seem extreme, but he is pointing out that we can be tempted to find excuses for not proclaiming the kingdom of God.
Read 2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14. When has fire—real or metaphorical—changed your life? How have you seen God working in this change?
Read Psalm 16. Recall a time when you needed God’s protection. How did you keep God in front of you?
Read Galatians 5:1, 13-25. Along with our freedom, we are given a responsibility. How do you use your freedom to serve others?
Read Luke 9:51-62. When have you heard Jesus’ call to follow? What have you had to leave behind to follow the one who has “set his face to go to Jerusalem”?
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