URC Daily Devotion Sunday 23 January 2022

Sunday 23 January 2022
Psalm 76

God is known among His people;
Every mouth His praises fill
From of old he has established
His abode on Zion’s hill.
There He broke the sword and arrow,
Bade the noise of war be still.

2 Excellent and glorious art Thou,
With Thy trophies from the fray;
Thou hast slain the the valiant-hearted
Wrapped in sleep of death are they;
When Thy anger once is risen,
Who can stand in that dread day?

3 When from heaven Thy sentence sounded,
All the earth in fear was still,
While to save the meek and lowly
God in judgement wrought His will;
E’en the wrath of man shall praise Thee,
Thy design it shall fulfill.

4 Vow and pay ye to Jehovah,
Him your God forever own;
All men, bring your gifts before him;
Worship Him and Him alone;
Mighty kings obey and fear Him,
Princes bow before His throne.

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You can hear the tune, Lauda Anima (Praise My Soul the King of Heaven), here:


This Psalm takes my breath away!  It is easy to be a little scared when reading these words, isn’t it? – maybe the word isn’t scared – but awestruck?
The Psalmist begins gently enough by stating that God is well known among his people.  What does that mean?  Someone can be well known but not necessarily loved.  I think this can be interpreted as God being the protector of his people and therefore they honour him and hold him up high because he has defeated their enemies.
Verse 2 goes on to say that no-one can defeat God.  He is the champion of his people and has power over life and death. When he has cause to be angry, then no-one can stand in his way.
When God speaks, the earth falls silent, but instead of saving those who demonstrate strength and valiance, he supports the meek and lowly – those who have no-one to uphold them.
Make your pledge to the Lord and call him your God!  Bring the spoils of war to present to him and worship him and him alone as your redeemer and your saviour. Even mighty kings give way to him and princes bow before his throne.
God’s power is definitely evident in this Psalm.  Imagine if you were on the side of those attacking his people and you had heard that they have a protector on their side with such mighty power.  You would be completely intimidated.
We know however, that we ARE on the winning side; God has victory even over life and death. 
Sometimes, it feels like a battle that we are facing in the world today: against greed, intolerance, violence, disbelief, prejudice, lack of freedom, famine, disease – and I could go on……
But we must hold on to the belief that God will support the meek and lowly,  and in turn, we must learn to love our neighbours as we love ourselves.  Only then will God win hearts and minds.  It is not what we say, it is what we do that demonstrates God’s love to all – and only then can others know God also.

Lord – You are known among us here! You are awesome, mighty, righteous, glorious, most high!  God you are my King, my Lord, my Strength! God, your Son IS the revelation – the deliverer, conqueror, and saviour!
We bring you praise, honour, and glory.  We march in victory given to us by You and only You!   We bring our lives, our talents, our dreams, everything God, we bring it to you, the One to be honoured. There is none like you. Awesome is the revelation – God is known among us here! 

Today’s writer

Ann Barton, Lay Leader at Whittlesford URC in the Eastern Synod.


New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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