I give thanks to you with all my heart, Lord. I sing your praise before all other gods. 2 I bow toward your holy temple and thank your name for your loyal love and faithfulness because you have made your name and word greater than everything else. 3 On the day I cried out, you answered me. You encouraged me with inner strength.
4 Let all the earth’s rulers give thanks to you, Lord, when they hear what you say. 5 Let them sing about the Lord’s ways because the Lord’s glory is so great! 6 Even though the Lord is high, he can still see the lowly, but God keeps his distance from the arrogant.
7 Whenever I am in deep trouble, you make me live again; you send your power against my enemies’ wrath; you save me with your strong hand. 8 The Lord will do all this for my sake.
Your faithful love lasts forever, Lord! don’t let go of what your hands have made.
Words are such powerful things. I saw a post on twitter the other day where the poster asked, “Whatever happened to sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me?” I remember hearing it hundreds of times when I be on the receiving end of harsh words, bullying words. Words can’t hurt you.
But they can. Words can hurt more than almost anything else in life. It seems we could live through any number of physical ailments, physical pains. We can overcome disease and disasters, people can get up out of wheelchairs and walk. But we never quite get over hurtful words.
And the same is true for words which create new possibilities. A kind word from a friend or stranger lifts up our hearts and changes our day. It’s the power of someone noticing your new haircut and telling you they like it. A compliment on a job well done. A thank you note acknowledging your contribution. They are just words. But they hold more power than any other reward.
This psalm reminds us of the power of words. The author of this psalm is going through a trying, difficult time. It’s not clear exactly what moment, what trial they are experiencing, but it’s something difficult which they can not overcome on their own. It’s a challenge they can not meet, a rock they can not lift.
So, the psalmist remembers. Remembers the stories from years gone by of God acting. The words which echo the songs sung in the wilderness days. The Psalmist praises God because it was God’s words which brought redemption, salvation, creation in the past and God’s words which will bring grace into the world.
Words are the things which sustain us through the day. God’s words in scriptures which speak words we can not say. God’s words in song which lift out the voice in our hearts we are too shy or afraid to share. God’s words in prayer which share the pain and joys of our days. God’s words.
God’s love is steadfast. It endures forever and will see us through the other side of what trial we experience today, whether it’s a difficult work life, a self-doubting nature, or a broken heart. All we have to do is hear the words God speaks.
God has made the name and word greater than everything else. On the days we cry out, God answers us. God encourages us.
What words do you need to speak today? What words do you need to hear from God today. Take a moment to listen. God’s words are waiting for you.