DEVOTION FOR THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2017
To Wait is to Desire God’s Glory
Scripture’s use of rock metaphors, points out the Dictionary of Biblical Imagery, “has the desert as its backdrop. The sight of a rock in a barren, sun-parched wilderness lifted the spirits of the hot and weary traveler or soldier. . . . The rock might contain a spring of water as well as providing welcome shade from the burning sun. . . . [R]ock formed a sound foundation; a rock was a stronghold, a fortress and a refuge.”
“Trust in the lord forever,” today’s reading proclaims, “for the Lord, the Lord Himself, is the Rock eternal” (v. 4). This is part of a song of praise for God’s deliverance (v. 1). The people who dwell in His secure city are righteous and trust entirely in Him (vv. 2–4). He gives them perfect peace (v. 3), perfect justice (vv. 5–6), and a straight, smooth path because He removes obstacles and difficulties (v. 7). This is all possible because God is the Rock, the Upright One who humbles the proud and brings victory to the poor and oppressed.
In this song, waiting is described as being essentially connected with two actions that are themselves connected: obeying God’s law and desiring God’s glory (v. 8). One cannot wait on the Lord and at the same time disobey His commandments, nor can one wait on the Lord and at the same time pridefully seek one’s own glory. The phrase “desire of our hearts” indicates that His “name and renown” are our central motivation, consuming passion, and soul’s deep yearning (v. 9).
From this perspective, God’s judgment is a good thing, because His power is displayed, His victory is accomplished, and—since they see Him for who He is—“the people of the world learn righteousness” (v. 9b; cf. Phil. 2:9–11).
“Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws,
we wait for you;
your name and renown
are the desire of our hearts.”
APPLY THE WORD
The classic hymn “Rock of Ages” uses this biblical metaphor of the Lord as our Rock:
“Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
let me hide myself in thee;
let the water and the blood, from thy wounded side which flowed,
be of sin the double cure;
save from wrath and make me pure.”
Sing or listen to this song as part of your personal worship.
Today in the Word is a production of Moody Global Ministries