I wish the deliverance of Israel would come from Zion!
When God restores the well-being of his people,
may Jacob rejoice,
may Israel be happy!
– – – – – – –
There’s a few ways to approach this Psalm. I thought about the national/international implications for the Nation of Israel, who really has never been at peace in its land, especially not now. It’s the sort of turmoil that, because I consider them brothers and sisters, is painful to watch. Speaking of another Psalm asking for deliverance, one Rabbi had this to say:
“Let us pray that God responds to our prayers and gives us security in our land in the same way King David reigned over Israel and Jerusalem in peace and prosperity.”
Then I thought about the sort of ‘spiritual’ implications, most commentaries say that ‘the deliverance’ is a sort of a metonym for the messiah, who would be the ultimate rescue from Zion for God’s people. So we have David yearning, not only for national deliverance, but spiritual deliverance.
Then there is the personal, circumstantial deliverance that he needed. That’s the immediate context we get this Psalm out of. David asks for deliverance from the evil that surrounds and threatens him.
In this context, I would expect a more personal cry for deliverance, or peace.
However David prays on behalf of his people.
How often do I pray on behalf of my community?
The answer is pretty much never.
This is definitely a point of conviction for me, my prayers and conversations with God are often very self focused. Last week I ran into a lady at the church and after introducing myself she said, “Oh it’s so great to meet you, I have you on my prayer list!” I was sort of caught off guard and distracted but I thanked her, and was encouraged by it.
But really what I should have done was added her to my prayer list (I’d need a prayer list first!)
I’m going to make it a point to pray for the people of my church this week, to pray for the people in the ministries I work with, and to pray a little less for myself.