Advent Devotional December 14, 2017
Psalm 18: 1-20
1 I love you, O LORD, my strength.
2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer,
my God, my rock in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
3 I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised,
so I shall be saved from my enemies.
4 The cords of death encompassed me;
the torrents of perdition assailed me;
5 the cords of Sheol entangled me;
the snares of death confronted me.
6 In my distress I called upon the LORD;
to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears.
7 Then the earth reeled and rocked;
the foundations also of the mountains trembled
and quaked, because he was angry.
8 Smoke went up from his nostrils,
and devouring fire from his mouth;
glowing coals flamed forth from him.
9 He bowed the heavens, and came down;
thick darkness was under his feet.
10 He rode on a cherub, and flew;
he came swiftly upon the wings of the wind.
11 He made darkness his covering around him,
his canopy thick clouds dark with water.
12 Out of the brightness before him
there broke through his clouds
hailstones and coals of fire.
13 The LORD also thundered in the heavens,
and the Most High uttered his voice.
14 And he sent out his arrows, and scattered them;
he flashed forth lightnings, and routed them.
15 Then the channels of the sea were seen,
and the foundations of the world were laid bare
at your rebuke, O LORD,
at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.
16 He reached down from on high, he took me;
he drew me out of mighty waters.
17 He delivered me from my strong enemy,
and from those who hated me;
for they were too mighty for me.
18 They confronted me in the day of my calamity;
but the LORD was my support.
19 He brought me out into a broad place;
he delivered me, because he delighted in me.
20 The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he recompensed me.
Fr. Paul Fanous, Parish Priest, St. Abraam Coptic Orthodox Church, Long Point / Sydney, Australia / Eastern Christian Focus
We live in a world where power is given to those who are strong, rich, influential, or charismatic. But there is a power that has long been forgotten. And that is the power of God working with humanity, or with each of us specifically.
David the Psalmist in Psalm 18 sings of the power of God, His power over death and Sheol, His power over nature, and His power over our circumstances. But by far the most important aspect of God’s power is that He has made it accessible to “me.” He has given us the power, that our prayers would be heard and answered by Him: “In my distress I called upon the Lord, And cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, And my cry came before Him, even to His ears” (Ps 18:6). This is real power—that the Hand which can make the “earth (shake) and tremble,” and the One who can make the “foundations of the world … uncovered” by his “rebuke,” would bend down his ear, hear my voice, and allow Himself to be moved by my prayers.
When we feel weak, and powerless in this world, let us try to remember the true power that is made available to us.
Dear Lord, it is a wonderful gift that you would hear my voice from your dwelling place, that you would regard my prayers. Thank you for this tremendous power you have bestowed on me. I request that you would never let me stray far from this strength that you have shared with us, your children. Amen.