Summer Reading, part fifteen

If you've been keeping up with the Psalms selections, we've read 1,213 verses by the end of Psalm 79. Together, we've read half of the book of Psalms. So don't give up. Stay with us, and we'll finish strong.

In reading Psalms 80-83, I recognize that I have a relationship with God, my Heavenly Father. He gave me children to raise so I could see how he feels about me. He loves me very much. I knew this before I had kids, but it’s much more meaningful now.

In Psalm 81, I hear the cry of a parent who wants only the best for his kids. Psalm 81:8 sounds like any loving parent, “Hear me, my people, and I will warn you— if you would only listen to me, Israel!” How many of us have said that? Then, God’s heart breaks in verse 12 like any parent who knows about tough love. “So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices.” I know how a parent wants to bring goodness and beauty into a child’s life, but we parents have to wait until the kids can receive the good things we want to give.

So many of the psalms have been a cry for help. Do you think God gets tired of us pleading with him to take vengeance on our enemies?

I think he is glad we’re still coming to him. He wants us to run to him whenever we need him. He hopes we want to run to him when we don’t need him. I understand that from the perspective of a parent. Psalm 83 is another “Make them like tumbleweed, my God, like chaff before the wind” (from verse 13) type of psalm. I don’t think God ever rolled his eyes and sighed at these words.

I know from my experience of parenting that the kids’ trials and torments affect the parents as well. God keeps trying to bring his people back to him. And we parents keep trying to train our children to become the people they were meant to be.

Next time, join me in Psalms 84-89.

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