Sunday, January 31, 2010


John Ruskin notes that we should always try to use the fewest words possible. People, if they put their minds to it, can usually say what they have to say in a sentence or two.

I counted once and found that the Gettysburg Address contains only 269 words, which means among other things, that words don't have to be many to be memorable. That's why I like Psalm 117. Brevity is its hallmark. The poet said all he wanted to say in thirty words or less (seventeen words in the Hebrew text).

Praise the LORD, all you Gentiles!
Acclaim Him, all you people!
For he has given us a bunch of rules to keep!
Praise the LORD!

What nonsense! That's not what the psalmist wrote.  (If you listened to some folks, however, that's what you'd hear). Israel's poet had something better to say:

Praise the LORD, all you Gentiles!
Acclaim Him, all you people!
For He has always loved us,
And will love us forever!

Praise the LORD!

Ah, that's the good news: God loves me and will love me forever. He loved me before I was born; He has loved me for seventy-seven years; He will love me after I die. He loves me when I have done everything wrong; he loves me when I have done nothing right; he loves me when I have done nothing at all. Nothing, "though it be cold, hard, or foul," can separate me from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus my Lord!
[1] His heart is an inexhaustible and irrepressible fountain of love!

Psalm 117 is an "Ascent Psalm," a song to get us up and get us going.[2] I can think of no greater encouragement: My Father loves me!

Praise the Lord!


[1] George Herbert, "The Sepulcher," and St. Paul, Romans 8:39.
[2] The Ascent Psalms were sung by pilgrims on their way up to Jerusalem, or so it’s believed.

1 comment:

Rebecca Sehnert said...

Just read your Feb 22nd devotional from "Our Daily Bread" yesterday. I am always encouraged by your words and your perspective. Thank you for your obedience and faith!
Bless you!
Rebecca Sehnert

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