Scripture Focus: Psalm 92.4-7, 12-13
For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord;
I sing for joy at what your hands have done.
How great are your works, Lord,
how profound your thoughts!
Senseless people do not know,
fools do not understand,
that though the wicked spring up like grass
and all evildoers flourish,
they will be destroyed forever.

12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, 
they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; 
13 planted in the house of the LORD, 
they will flourish in the courts of our God. 

Reflection: Destiny of Grass vs Cedars
By John Tillman

There are purposes for the flourishing of the wicked and one of them is that one day the world will see them fall. 

The success of the wicked is like grass that will spring up and then be destroyed. There are purposes for suffering and lowliness and one of them is that one day the world will see the humble exalted. The righteous are not likened to grass but to a “cedar of Lebanon” planted in God’s house. The cedar and the grass may seem a similar height when they sprout, but the cedar’s growth and longevity are much different. 

The psalmist recognizes that wickedness will often flourish in this world. So should we. The writer sees through the illusion that worldly power and success indicate heavenly endorsement. So should we. Whether prospering or suffering, thriving or failing, surviving or dying, gains in this world are meaningless.

The psalmist testifies that senseless people, fools, do not understand this. So we should ask God for wisdom, and he will answer us with understanding.

We should cry out to God to deal with the wicked according to his justice, but let us not wish for a tit-for-tat God. If we got what we deserved, all would be destroyed.

We should praise God for what he has done, but not only for seeing the wicked brought low. We should praise him that despite our wickedness we can be raised up in the righteousness of Christ. 

It is only in emptying ourselves in confession that we can be filled with his righteousness. There is joy and love that God has for us in Christ Jesus. 

The wicked will fall because they will not kneel before Christ. When we fall to our knees in repentance, there is strength to lift us up, carrying us to sanctification. Our arms are too short to grasp what we need but Christ is the arm of the Lord. This powerful arm, bared before the nations, is never too short to save

With the psalmist, may we sing for joy at what his hands have done, working righteousness, showing mercy, and being with us in suffering.

Divine Hours Prayer: The Greeting
You are my hiding place…you surround me with shoults of deliverance. — Psalm 32.8

– Divine Hours prayers from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime by Phyllis Tickle

Today’s Readings
Ezekiel 41  (Listen – 4:40)
Psalm 92-93 (Listen – 2:09)

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Compassionate God, we are sinners in need of forgiveness. The emptiness within us can only be filled by your love.

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Our path to salvation and restoration follows the steps of the suffering, crucified servant, Jesus.