An Instrument of Thy Peace.
“Bless the LORD God, the God of Israel, who alone does such wonderful things. Bless his glorious name forever! Let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and amen!” – Psalm 72:18-19 NLT
Solomon had God-given wisdom and blessings beyond belief – also directly provided by the hand of God. He reigned over a powerful kingdom that was hand-picked by God as the people group upon which He would shower His grace and mercy. God dwelt in their midst, directed their paths, and protected their borders. Solomon’s wisdom and the nation’s wealth were gifts from God and Solomon knew it. He also knew just how dependent he was on God’s continued presence and provision. He was nothing without God. And his song recorded in Psalm 72 is a clear indication of his’s comprehension of his need for God. Everything he had and all that he was as a man was directly attributable to God. He knew he could not judge well without God’s help. He knew he could not rule fairly without God’s direction. He knew his reign could end up destroying the lives of those he ruled if God was not on his side. Solomon knew that his kingdom would be a blessing only as long as God continued to bless his leadership. His kingdom was simply a conduit through which God could bless the people of Israel and the nations around them.
What a healthy perspective for all of us to embrace. To recognize that I am nothing without God could have a powerful impact on how I live my life. It would put everything in perspective. My role as a husband, father, employee or even employer takes on new meaning when I realize that I have been placed where I am by God Himself and that I am nothing without Him. Solomon longed to do what was right. He wanted to rule righteously and lead his people justly. He knew that he had been given authority and responsibility by God to care for the people of God. He took that role seriously. He longed to rule well and represent God faithfully. What about us? Do we see ourselves as God’s conduits through which He wants to pour out His grace and mercy to those under our care? Do we long to lead well and administer our daily responsibilities righteously so that those around us are blessed by God through us? Take a close look at this Psalm. It is actually a prayer – a request from an earthly king to his heavenly Father – that his life would make a difference in the world. Solomon wanted to leave the world a better place than he had found it. He wanted to be used by God. Do you?
This all reminds me of the prayer of St. Francis of Assissi:
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.
Father, my life and ministry are nothing without You. I cannot accomplish anything of value without You. I want my life to leave a lasting impact on those around me. But I can only do it because You graciously choose to use me. Make me a willing vessel through which Your blessings might be poured out on those around me. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men