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Psalm 116:1-2 Chosen for 2022-2023 Theme

Psalm 116:1-2 Chosen for 2022-2023 Theme Verse
Posted on 06/27/2022
Theme Verse 22-23

The Lutheran High School of Kansas City has selected Psalm 116, verses 1 and 2 as its Theme Verse for the 2022-2023 school year. The verse written by the Psalmist reads: I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live. (NIV)

Psalm 116: 1-2 is part of a collection of about a dozen Psalms categorized as Psalms of Thanksgiving, in which the prayer bears witness to what God has done on their behalf and pledge their ongoing devotion to the Lord.

There are many things the Psalmist could have named as the first of many actions that God undertook in his behalf. The pangs of death surrounded him (V3), trouble and sorrow found him (V3), the Lord preserved him (V6), he was brought low and the Lord saved him (V6), his feet were falling and the Lord delivered him (8).

But he doesn’t begin with what God did for him, he begins with the fact that God listened to him. “I love God because he listened to me, listened as I begged for mercy. He listened so intently as I laid out my case before him .” (MSG)

We can hear what someone is saying, without ever identifying with what is being said because we are not listening. We can fail to grasp the deeper content of what they are expressing, because we hear them but we are not listening to them. Sometimes, we can hear without listening because while they are speaking, we are already formulating our response. And if the truth be told, sometimes the mind just tends to wander even while someone is speaking to us.

When it appears that no one is listening, really getting deep inside the meaning of your words and actions with empathy and a sincere understanding of what you are going through, know that God is always listening, and God hears your cries.

We must believe in this wonderful reality that no matter how bad things might be, the cries of the righteousness, the cries of those being misused, abused and kicked to the curb, our cries pierce the heart of God, and with a listening ear, God will move on our behalf.

God said to Moses, ”I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry, because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows, so I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians.” (Ex. 3:7-8)

When Sarah out of her jealousy put Hagar out of the house because she had born Abraham a son, Ishmael, and mother and son were out there wandering in the wilderness, with no place to go, out of water and Ishmael began to cry, God heard a cry out of time, and dispatched an angel from heaven who said to this single parent mother, “Hagar, do not be afraid, for I have heard your son’s crying.” (Gen. 21:17) Some scholars suggest that the angel’s response, I have heard your son’s crying, was to comfort Hagar that she was not alone in caring for Ishmael, that God himself would see to it that both mother and son we be provided for.

And eventually, God makes of Ishmael a great nation. Knowing that God is not simply hearing but He is listening to us, during such turbulent times gives us hope and fortitude to live one day at a time, knowing that God will take care of us. Yes, we are not spectators to the words of the Psalmist, in Psalm 116, but we are living them ourselves, Hallelujah! “I love the Lord, He heard my cry, and He pitied every groan, long as I live, and trouble rise, I’ll hasten to His throne.”

June 14, 2020, https://inglewoodfirstpres.org/