Day 344

Prayer for the day

Let Everything That Has Breath Praise the LORD. Hallelujah! Praise God in his holy temple; praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts; praise him for his excellent greatness. Praise him with the blast of the ram’s-horn; praise him with lyre and harp. Praise him with timbrel and dance; praise him with strings and pipe. Praise him with resounding cymbals; praise him with loud-clanging cymbals. Let everything that has breath* praise the LORD. Hallelujah!

Scripture for the day

Hosea 1-4, Revelation 1

The people of Israel, those who were supposed to be the people of God, were idolatrous, sinful, and negligent of the covenant God had made with them. The story of Hosea is the embodied story of the people of Israel and their relationship with their God. The people have become unfaithful to their God, and their God is punishing them for their unfaithfulness. That is, however, not the end of their story.

The people of God will return to their God, but when they do, they will return with the appropriate response: fear and respect. They will come back to God knowing that they have hurt God, wounded God, and they will come with humility, and with fear. They will come trembling.

The writer of Revelation knows a thing or two about coming with trembling. When he sees the one who speaks to him, the one who has died and now lives, who holds the keys to death and hell, he trembles and falls as though dead. It is not fear of the unknown, necessarily, or fear of being vaporized, as much as it is a fear of the awesome power of God. It is akin to the fear we feel at the top of a huge cliff or in front of an enormous waterfall. We sense the power, and our own insignificance before it.

Yet in that insignificance, God expresses his great love and care for us. Tremble, but know you are loved.


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