Psalm 136-139 B

Today’s chapters have much to do with identity; individual and corporate.

On an individual front, we’ve got the wonderful 139.

“You scrutinize my path and my lying down, and are intimately acquainted with all my ways.” (139:3)

“For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mothers womb.” (139:13)

Knowing everything there is to know about a person’s internal organs, plus when and where and how they will lay down, is very intimate indeed. It’s both soothing and mind boggling how the LORD knows us, perhaps even cause for concern that He knows what we are thinking or what we will say before we say it. However, there’s something about this passage that is more comforting than anything else. A lovingness is woven throughout.

Perhaps it is a lingering feeling from 136’s “His lovingkindness is everlasting”

That passage reiterates Israel’s identity as belonging to the LORD, as it praises Him for all the times and ways He’s taken care of them.

While it’s less obvious when 136 was written, 137 seems to be a song from the days of Babylonian exile, when the people of Israel would be desperate for their identity. Being a captor in a foreign land threatens more than just your physical safety. A psychological aspect is in play, with the possible anecdote lying in the remembrance of who you were, informing who you can still be.

It’s important to remember individual, as well as corporate, identities.

It’s important to remember that every living person was fearfully and wonderfully crafted in their mother’s womb.

It’s important to remember that we are connected to larger bodies. I don’t know how far this goes, but I know there was a remnant if God fearing people who went into exile for the sins of the majority.

I’m currently quite bothered by the way both of my countries are treating immigrants and asylum seekers. Italy’s government is forcing sailors to let refugees drown in the Mediterranean. While America’s government is forcing boarder patrol agents to cage asylum applicants like animals. I don’t know what the retribution for these crimes against humanity will be, but I know that the LORD is very serious about the poor, oppressed and displaced.

We cry out for His mercy and praise Him for the times He slew mighty kings (136:18).

What does the LORD want to say to you concerning your personal and corporate identities today?

-Bethany

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