Our Daily Bread (ODB) Devotional + Insight: 26 October 2020 – Prayers On La Playa
Prayers on La Playa – ODB Devotional for Monday 26 October 2020
By Xochitl Dixon for ODB
Read: Psalm 148
Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 9–11; 1 Timothy 6
During a trip to celebrate our twenty-fifth anniversary, my husband and I read our Bibles on the beach. As vendors passed and called out the prices of their wares, we thanked each one but didn’t buy anything. One vendor, Fernando, smiled wide at my rejection and insisted we consider buying gifts for friends. After I declined his invitation, Fernando packed up and began walking away . . . still grinning. “I pray God will bless your day,” I said.
Fernando turned toward me and said, “He has! Jesus changed my life.” Fernando knelt between our chairs. “I feel His presence here.” He then shared how God had delivered him from drug and alcohol abuse more than fourteen years earlier.
My tears flowed as he recited entire poems from the book of Psalms and prayed for us. Together, we praised God and rejoiced in His presence . . . on la playa.
Psalm 148 is a prayer of praise. The psalmist encourages all of creation to “praise the name of the Lord, for at his command [everything was] created” (v. 5), “for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens” (v. 13).
Though God invites us to bring our needs before Him and trust He hears and cares for us, He also delights in prayers of grateful praise wherever we are. Even on the beach.
Help me praise You with every breath You’ve given me, God.
Considering Psalm 148 from the point of view of those in the ancient Near East helps us gain a greater understanding of the context and the call for everything to praise God. For example, some people groups viewed the sun, moon, and stars (v. 3) as gods; however, this psalm reminds readers that these heavenly bodies are to worship God, not to be worshiped.
In verse 4, the “highest heavens” was likely referring to the realm of the gods as well. Earth and “the heavens” were seen as a dome; the heavens being above that dome. The ancient peoples speculated that there was water between the dome of the atmosphere and the heavens. This is where they believed rain came from. So the call for the “waters above the skies” (v. 4) to praise God emphasizes the call for all creation to praise God, even the weather (v. 8).
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