May 11, 2018 • Life for Leaders
My heart, O God, is steadfast;
I will sing and make music with all my soul.
When I was in college, I lived near Boston, Massachusetts. One of my favorite leisure time pursuits was to walk the streets of Boston, often passing by buildings and businesses that had been there for over two centuries. From the perspective of one who had grown up in Southern California, that was a long time. Older businesses often boasted of their longevity on their signs. While walking the streets of Boston, I often saw a sign that read something like: “Adams and Sons, Est. 1810.” “Est.” meant “established in” and identified the year in which the first Mr. Adams founded his business. The fact that his business was thriving almost two centuries later suggested that it had been well-established and well-tended by the succeeding generations of Adamses.
Psalm 108 begins with language that reminds me of the signs I saw in Boston. The NIV translation of verse 1 reads, “My heart, O God, is steadfast.” The Hebrew word translated here as “steadfast” (nakhon) can also mean “ready” or “prepared” or “established.” So, for example, in Judges 16:26, Samuel asks a servant to place his hands on the pillars upon which the house is established or held up (nakhon). Or, in 2 Samuel 7:16, the prophet Nathan told David, “your throne will be secure [nakhon] forever”
In Psalm 108, David says that his heart has been prepared for God, that it has been established in God. His heart is solidly grounded on the sure foundation of God and his faithfulness. Thus, David can sing God’s praises with all of his being (108:1).
We live in a day when the ground beneath us is shifting… literally, in many parts of the world. But even if we aren’t experiencing literal earthquakes, we can experience the instability of the foundations of our lives. Investments plummet; loved ones die; jobs are lost; culture is continually changing; leaders fail at an alarming rate. How much we need to be established in God, the only certain ground of our being.
Something to Think About:
Would you say that you are established in God? In what ways is this true for you? In what ways is it not true?
Would you like your life to be more firmly grounded upon God?
Something to Do:
Take time to pray. As you do, picture yourself firmly grounded upon God. What is this like? How do you feel? How might you live differently if you were truly and solidly established in God?
Gracious God, as I read the beginning of Psalm 108, I find myself yearning to be established in you. May I build my life upon you as my sure foundation. May I lean upon you in times of uncertainty. May I rely upon you when I am rejoicing and when I am filled with sorrow. Help me to be firmly established in you, so that the “earthquakes” of this life do not shake me to the core.
As I rest upon you, may I praise you with all that I am, with heart, soul, mind, and strength. By your grace, may I live each day for the praise of your glory. In the name of Jesus, I pray, Amen.
Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online commentary:
Jeremiah the Poet at Work: Lamentations
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.