Kindness begins with God

October 10, 2022
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Daily Scripture

Psalm 18:46-50

46 The LORD lives! Bless God, my rock!
Let the God of my salvation be lifted high!
47 This is the God who avenges on my behalf,
who subdues people before me,
48 who delivers me from my enemies.
Yes, you lifted me high above my adversaries;
you delivered me from violent people.
49 That’s why I thank you, LORD,
in the presence of the nations.
That’s why I sing praises to your name.
50 You are the one who gives great victories to your king,
who shows faithful love to your anointed one—
to David and to his descendants forever.

 

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Reflection Questions

As with many other positive qualities, the Bible did not say kindness springs automatically out of the human heart’s generous impulses. Psalm 18 praised God’s kindness to David, using the multi-layered Hebrew word hesed. Modern English versions often use a phrase like “faithful love” to render hesed when it speaks of God, while often choosing “kindness” to express hesed’s meaning when it’s about how people act (as in Micah 6:8). * As in today’s text, in Psalm 90:14-17 kindness begins with God.

  • We often discuss our “legacy,” sometimes making it sound (and perhaps thinking) as if the legacy is solely the result of our own work. The psalmists, on the other hand, always sought to give God the praise, whether for a victory in battle or in reflecting on the results of a long life. “With God’s help, there is the possibility of something enduring amid the reality of the shortness of human life.” ** Have you ever asked God’s divine kindness to be a major force shaping your legacy? Will you?
  • God showed David “faithful love” or “kindness” (Hebrew hesed)—but not just David. Galatians 3:26 said we are “all God’s children through faith in Christ Jesus.” God offers that same loving kindness to everyone who chooses to be his child. What does it mean to your faith to know God values you as much as the writer of Psalm 18? In what ways has God “rescued” you over the course of your life from both outer and inner “enemies”?
Prayer

Lord God, it’s easy for me to forget that, often quietly and unobtrusively, you are always with me. Enable me to remember and value your kind presence shaping and guiding me. Amen.

© 2022 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
References

* Based on notes on Psalm 18:50 by Robert G. Bratcher and William D. Reyburn in A Handbook on the Book of Psalms. New York: United Bible Societies, 1991, p. 53.

** J. Clinton McCann, Jr., study note on Psalm 90:17 in The CEB Study Bible. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013, p. 942 OT.

GPS Insights

Kersee Meyer

Kersee is a part of the Resurrection Experience team at the church and works alongside other creative folks to make videos to connect people to community, their faith and God.

Last week I celebrated my 30th birthday with family and friends! I ultimately feel pretty good about entering this new decade, but it has me reflecting on the “victories” throughout my life. I can see the ways God has showed up in the big and small moments and how my kindness begins with his steadfast love and loyalty.

As I enter this new season of life, I’m asking myself a question in the hopes to pursue what God is calling me to.

How does my idea of kindness compare to God’s idea?

I’ve heard people tell me that I’m a kind person. After reading this passage, I’m not sure it’s the same level of kindness that begins with God. The kindness he is calling me to is more than just the random acts of kindness. My kindness needs to be more intentional. I often like to hold the door open for people because it’s easy and quick. I’m not saying holding the door open for people isn’t good enough, but it isn’t good enough if it stops there.

The kindness God is calling me to needs to require small and big moments from me. It should be filled with compassion for people, giving aid to someone who is never going to know where the kindness came from, and it needs to be filled with love. My kindness should never look for a return because God’s kindness doesn’t either. I want my praise for the LORD to be felt it my actions to others that leaves a legacy that leaves people feeling the presence of God.