Timeless Truth in Modern Language
As some of you may know, each Thursday at 8pm, we at FPC post a video containing a short video service of two songs and a psalm. We call this weekly virtual worship gathering "Weekday Worship" You can check out our Facebook page under the "Videos" section for all past and future "Weekday Worship" offerings.
As I was preparing for this week's installment of "Weekday Worship", I decided to use Psalm 118. Its language offers great hope amidst hardship and reminds the reader that God has the capacity to love in such a magnificent way that it can completely up-end our lives, and in the best way possible. It reminds us that in spite of the fears and uncertainties that we are convinced will be our ruin, His love endures longer and his power is greater than all of those things.
While this psalm proclaims that truth, I couldn't help but think the actual language was dated in such a way that it may be a deterrent for the modern reader. So, in an attempt not to re-write Scripture, but, to rather capture the truth of this Psalm in a more modern expression, I wrote an adaptation of Psalm 118: 1-12. I hope you'll read the original text and then my adaptation below and be grateful to God for His love that indeed endures forever!
Psalm 118: 1-12, NIV
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
2 Let Israel say: “His love endures forever.” 3 Let the house of Aaron say: “His love endures forever.” 4 Let those who fear the Lord say: “His love endures forever.”
5 When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord; he brought me into a spacious place. 6 The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? 7 The Lord is with me; he is my helper. I look in triumph on my enemies.
8 It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans. 9 It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes. 10 All the nations surrounded me, but in the name of the Lord I cut them down. 11 They surrounded me on every side, but in the name of the Lord I cut them down. 12 They swarmed around me like bees, but they were consumed as quickly as burning thorns; in the name of the Lord I cut them down.
Psalm 118: 1-12, A Modern Adaptation
1-2: You should say “Thank You” to God because the only thing that will outlast all things is His love.
2-4: Long before we were born and long after we are gone, He has been, and will be , loving all of us.
God’s people should never stop saying these things about God. We know God will never stop loving us, so, why would we ever stop talking about it?
5-7: In hard times, I prayed and God brought my troubles into perspective and because of that loving gesture, I know He is near and because he is near, I don’t have to be afraid.
The evil of the world can bring me to my knees in fear…but, it cannot harm my soul, my essence, my image-of-God-ness….because remember, God is near and because He is near, I don’t have to be afraid…and when I’m not afraid, I learn what I am truly capable of.
8: I love my friends, I love my family, but they are human just like me. Because of this, I know that my hope is best placed in God.
9: I give authority figures an appropriate amount of respect, , but, I know that my only hope is to trust in God alone. When those authorities lean away from God, I lean away from them and towards God.
10-12: The world is so big and can be so cruel that at times it shakes me to my core…but from that core comes my voice and I will command my voice to speak God’s name and in that speaking, the big, bad world will remember who is its Maker and that it stands no chance against His might, his power, or his LOVE.
Happy reading, friends.