Great Plains Daily Devotional for 2/29/2020

Today please be in prayer for

JoEllen McGranahan
Administrative Assistant, Administrative Services
Topeka District
Pat McKaig
Property Coordinator
Topeka District
Peggy Mihoover
Benefits Officer
Topeka District
Susan Petersen
Human Resources Manager
Topeka District

Today's Lectionary Text

Psalm 140

Rescue me from evil people, Lord!
    Guard me from violent people
    who plot evil things in their hearts,
    who pick fights every single day!
They sharpen their tongues like a snake’s;
    spider poison[a] is on their lips. 

Protect me from the power of the wicked, Lord!
    Guard me from violent people
        who plot to trip me up!
Arrogant people have laid a trap for me with ropes.
    They’ve spread out a net alongside the road.
    They’ve set snares for me. 

I tell the Lord, “You are my God!
    Listen to my request for mercy, Lord!”
My Lord God, my strong saving help—
    you’ve protected my head on the day of battle.
Lord, don’t give the wicked what they want!
    Don’t allow their plans to succeed,
    or they’ll exalt themselves even more![b] 

Let the heads of the people surrounding me
    be covered with the trouble their own lips caused![c]
10 Let burning coals fall on them!
    Let them fall into deep pits and never get out again!
11 Let no slanderer be safe in the land.
    Let calamity hunt down violent people—and quickly![d]

12 I know that the Lord will take up the case of the poor
    and will do what is right for the needy.
13 Yes, the righteous will give thanks to your name,
    and those who do right will live in your presence.

Today's Devotional

Ever feel like you’re under attack? I know I had brief moments like that serving as a community newspaper editor and columnist. In that role, you know you’ll cross people at times who will disagree with you – some more reasonably than others.

Add into the mix that I was a United Methodist journalist serving in a community comprised largely of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and there definitely were days that I felt the weight of others’ anger resting on my shoulders.

Several times in my 14-plus years there, I wrote columns that questioned long-held government practices in that community. While I received what was probably an undeserved amount of praise for voicing those ideas, those columns also caused others to send angry emails or to call and literally yell at me over the phone. The ones I remember most are the people who chose to make it personal by pointing out that I wasn’t “one of them,” meaning I wasn’t a Mormon. Those incidents were relatively few, but they still sting.

I’m not a poetry person, so I rarely latch on to the Psalms, but Psalm 140 from today’s lectionary strikes a chord with me. At times we feel like people are out to get us or use their sharp tongues to criticize us. It can feel like people against us.

It is in those times that we can turn to scripture for peace and healing. As the writer says in Psalm 140, we should remember the Lord is our shield. God has provided the ultimate deliverer for us in Jesus Christ, who died for you and me so that we can spend eternity free from, using the words of the Common English Bible, any plots, slander or calamity.
 – Todd Seifert, communications director

Prayer for Reflection

Dear God, help us to remember that we can always turn to you as our shield and protector at a time when words may hurt us. Amen.

Editor's note: This devotion was originally published on Oct. 2, 2018.

 

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