Praise the Lord, my soul.
Lord my God, you are very great;
you are clothed with splendor and majesty.
David was a king. He was used to commanding his army… And David was a songwriter.
A song that starts out commanding your soul what to do… Pretty sure that means there was some dissension in his own soul-filled ranks.
So he obeys, and sets to scroll what he’s written a thousand times, “Lord, you’re great…”
but he keeps going because he’s not feeling it yet. A little dry and rote. Sometimes you just have to prime the pump. So he starts reporting what he sees that God is up to everyday and adds his songwriter’s flair. Yet even still it’s not his heartbeat as he talks ABOUT God and not to him: “The Lord wraps…He stretches…He makes… He set…”
The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment;
he stretches out the heavens like a tent
and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters.
He makes the clouds his chariot
and rides on the wings of the wind.
4 He makes winds his messengers,
flames of fire his servants.
5 He set the earth on its foundations;
it can never be moved.
But slowly the the water starts to flow. And David’s heartbeat changes. His reporting soul turns to prayer, “You covered, your rebuke, your thunder… You set…”
You covered it with the watery depths as with a garment;
the waters stood above the mountains.
7 But at your rebuke the waters fled,
at the sound of your thunder they took to flight;
8 they flowed over the mountains,
they went down into the valleys,
to the place you assigned for them.
9 You set a boundary they cannot cross;
never again will they cover the earth.
His spirit stands convinced.
Now, David can brag for real.
Now, David can joyfully dance between reporting and praying.
Now, David, the commanding king and songwriter, has reached beyond the command and broken through the enemy lines,,
“I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.”
Now his song has become an anthem to the God he knows, the God he loves.
I don’t presume to know what David was thinking as he wrote this… But how often I have sat with spirit- block – so much like the writer’s block my students face with a prompted writing assignment. And in that place of ’empty’ I tell them: “Just start writing. It doesn’t even have to be a full idea. I can even be just one silly word. Pen to paper. Try to do. I promise more will come.”
And so I hear David speaking across time – from those dark caves where so many nights he hid, from his dark days where he lost his way, from family despair, from the changing tides, from a dying dream left in the hands of hope alone…
“Just start praising. One word. One phrase. One report of simply what you see…He’ll change your mourning – even you’re Blah – into dancing… I promise. Come join me and see.”
Lord, you are great. You send the sun to warm and light my day. You turn your face my way, and I am helped. I am loved. I am yours… Let this day be my anthem to your goodness.
Watering this day: Psalm 4, 104, 64; Proverbs 4; Romans 16