Daily Devotion – October 13, 2020 – Dr. Pat Taylor Ellison

Psalm 99
99:1 The LORD is king; let the peoples tremble! He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!
99:2 The LORD is great in Zion; he is exalted over all the peoples.
99:3 Let them praise your great and awesome name. Holy is he!
99:4 Mighty King, lover of justice, you have established equity; you have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob.
99:5 Extol the LORD our God; worship at his footstool. Holy is he!
99:6 Moses and Aaron were among his priests, Samuel also was among those who called on his name. They cried to the LORD, and he answered them.
99:7 He spoke to them in the pillar of cloud; they kept his decrees, and the statutes that he gave them.
99:8 O LORD our God, you answered them; you were a forgiving God to them, but an avenger of their wrongdoings.
99:9 Extol the LORD our God, and worship at his holy mountain; for the LORD our God is holy.

Psalm 99 exalts the Lord and praises the long history of relationship God’s people have with their God.  As in many praise psalms, we see here some recitation of the great priests of the past, the ways the Lord spoke to them, and the ways the Lord provided for the people chosen to be God’s people.

It feels like a BIG psalm, full of epic praise for an epic God.

Sometimes, especially in these days of corona virus, we might be apt to feel small. Our worlds have shrunk to the size of our households. Our circle of friends may still be large, but we see, even over zoom or FaceTime, only a chosen few of them. In such an era of life, it is easy to think everything has become small and predictable and maybe in some ways boring and unsatisfying.

But that is one reason we have the gift of the scriptures, which include small stories and big stories for whenever we need them most.

In Psalm 99 we can picture the grand story of God intervening in human history. We can see Moses and Aaron leading thousands of people out of Egypt into the wilderness. We can see the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire, out of which God spoke to them and by which God led them toward the promised land. We can see the epic. And we can know that, even in this time of smallness, we are beloved children of the God who changed the fate of a nation and created the universe.

And we can realize once again that God loves little you and little me.

Gracious God, Thank you for loving us. Thank you being the God of both the epic and the small. Provide us peace in this time of trial just as you provided the means for the whole nation of Israel to reach its destiny and just as you brought the whole universe into being.  Amen.