August 26, 2015

Living Among Liars

Psalm 120

Save me, LORD, from lying lips and from deceitful tongues.

—  Psalm 120:2

This psalm is about living in the midst of relentless trouble. It begins with distress and ends with talk of war, and everything in between reveals anxiety and pain.

This psalm is the first of fifteen songs used by ancient Israelites traveling to Jerusalem (Mount Zion) for a temple festival. For many of those pilgrims it was a long and difficult journey, and yet they undertook it gladly.

This psalm provides the reason why they wanted to take that trip—to escape the violence and lies that often surrounded them. This psalm draws them toward Jerusalem and the temple, to celebrate God’s truth.

We may often be surrounded and distressed by trouble as well. When that happens, there is only one way to turn—to God. The only way to escape the lies that often surround us is to turn to and meditate on the truth found in God’s Word.

Notice the psalmist’s firm faith despite so many troubles: “I call on the Lord in my distress, and he answers me.” God’s faith­ful­ness is clear to the believer who calls on God and seeks to live by God’s truth. That’s what drew so many pilgrims to celebrate the Lord together. And in God’s presence they were blessed and restored.

Every time we approach God, we too are making a pilgrimage—into the presence of the one who is “the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6).

Lord, we are often weary of lies and trouble around us. Breathe your words of life into us, that we too may be restored in your presence. Amen.

About the author — Thea Leunk

Thea Nyhoff Leunk has been a high school English teacher, a director of Christian education, a pastor of discipleship, and a regional coach for the Christian Reformed Church in North America. She is currently the senior pastor at Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Thea has also written courses for teens and young adults on world religions, Christian faith traditions, and science and the Bible. She and her husband have three adult children.

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