“Seek the Lord and his strength;
seek his presence continually!”
-1 Chronicles 16:11
(& Psalm 105:4)
Observation about who God is in this passage
God is strong. God is capable. God has done amazing things! God is also available. His presence is available to be found when we seek Him and He is also available to help and strengthen us when we ask. If He were not, there would be no use in looking for Him or asking for His help and His strength.
Observation about context and/or how this fits with other parts of scripture
This psalm (song) of David’s is a joyful one but it also carries some big reminders, things that when I remember them I am able to praise the Lord right away and rejoice in Him. When I forget, I am weakened and potentially face feeling alone and overwhelmed.
This song was sung after the ark of the covenant had been recovered and was on it’s way back to Jerusalem. Previously it had been taken by their enemies and then it was miss-handled – so much difficulty, uncertainty, and suffering that could have been avoided just remembering how amazingly capable God has always shown Himself to be.
Life application lesson(s)
Initially I think its easy to look at the backstory as God being harsh, but upon closer observation, verses 1-5 explain more about what God wants me to know about Him. I think one thing that He wants me to understand about Him is that He is completely capable of handling everything in my life, even the things that look like catastrophes or look impossible, or maybe even like an attack on Him or His glorification. He reminds me here (and so many places in His Word) that I should stay focused on Him. Rather than doing things my way or with whatever strength I have, ask for His help and His strength.
I worry about a lot! And there are plenty of times (dare I say daily?) that I forget just how capable He is in every situation. I make plans, I set goals, I get in touch with the “right” people, I do the “right” things, I take safety measures – all without a single word to God, a single request for His help. Sometimes, I even try to convince Him (and myself) that I’m being irresponsible if I don’t do all these things and even think that somehow God won’t get praised or get the glory and attention if I fail at whatever. But at the end of the day, I am just more tired, overwhelmed, discouraged, and scared than when I began.
But when I do remember to seek His presence continually, I am encouraged. I am at peace. I have more joy. I am energized. I am relieved. I feel like dancing like David did! Why? Because when I remember to seek His presence, I actually get His presence. And I remember, just like this psalm, just how amazing God is and all the ways He has so faithfully and capably taken care of every single one of His creation. I find myself being relieved because its actually not all on me and my strength. Its all on Him, and He’s totally got this.
Father, thank you for always being faithful. Thank you for showing me your strong hands and reminding me just how capable you are to handle everything. Thank you, Jesus for the reminder with your life that even when people (or even I) don’t “get it” or fail to let God lead the way, that it doesn’t diminish His power or even His love. Thank you, Lord for these reminders in your own Word to me. Your reminders in scripture are like precious gold to me and they lighten my load and brighten my path. When I am tempted to worry and do everything on my own, please show me sooner the gallery of your amazing work. Thank you Holy Spirit for being with me and speaking to me so that my trust for my Father increases and so that His presence is magnified making me more and more aware of it. Thank you, Lord for your strong arms, always holding me without faltering, no matter how I squirm and make a mess of things. Thank you for being attentive to help me and answer me, and thank you for showing me that when I look for you, I can in fact find you. Your love for me and faithfulness is overwhelmingly wonderful. May your children all remember and recognize your strong and capable arms and may we respond with loving trust of you, our Daddy.