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Monday, October 2nd, 2023
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26
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Music For the Soul
Devotional: October 2nd

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They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of Thy house; and Thou shalt make them drink of the river of Thy pleasures. - Psalms 36:8

The soul that possesses God is fed full. The emblem here, of course, is of a joyful feast, possibly of a sacrificial one; but the fact is that whoever has got a living hold of God, and a little bit of God lovingly embedded in his heart, has got as much as he wants; that between God and him there is such a correspondence as that He is the absolute and all-sufficient good. If I may so say, every hollow in my nature answers to a protuberance in His; and when you put the two together, the little heart is filled by the great heart that has come to it. We are at rest when we have God, and to long for Him is to insure the possession of an absolute and all-sufficient good.

The satisfied soul breaks into the music of praise. " My mouth shall praise Thee with joyful lips when I remember Thee upon my bed, and meditate on Thee in the night-watches." There is a reference, no doubt, there, to the little camp in the wilderness, where David and his men, unguarded save by God, laid themselves down to sleep beneath the Syrian sky with all its stars, and where the leader, no doubt, often awoke in the night, with pricked-up ears listening for the sound of the approaching enemy. And even then into his heart there steals the thought of his great Protector; and as he says in another of the Psalms dating from this period, "I will lay me down in peace and sleep, because Thou makest me to dwell, though solitary, in safety." The heart that feeds upon God is secure, and breaks into songs in the night, and music of praise. That feast has always minstrels at it. The spontaneous utterance of a heart feeding on God is thankfulness and music of praise, which is as natural as smiles when we are glad, or as tears when we mourn.

And then, this satisfaction leads on to an absolute security. "Because Thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of Thy wings will I rejoice." Such a past and such a present can only have one kind of future as their consequence - a future in which the seeking soul nestling itself beneath the great wings outstretched shall crowd close to the father’s heart, and be guarded by His love. If we hold fellowship with Him, He protects us. As another psalm says, using a similar metaphor: " He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." Communion with God means protection by God.

The part of the seeking soul is the certain pledge of its future. The uncertainties of the dim tomorrow, in so far as earth is concerned, are so many that we can never say, "Tomorrow shall be as this day." And in regard of all other sources of blessing, the dearest and the purest, we have all to feel, with sinking, sickening hearts, that the longer we have had them the nearer comes the day of their certain loss. But about Him we can say, "Because Thou hast been my Helper, therefore in the shadow of Thy wings will I rejoice." And in union with Him we can look out over all the dim sea that stretches before us; and though we know not what storms may vex its surface, or whither its currents may carry us, we can say, "Thou wilt be with Me, and in Thee I shall have peace."

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