Posted by: davidlarkin | November 7, 2008

The Morning After

Wednesday morning, November 5, 2008, the morning after the election of Barack Obama as 44th President of the United States, I opened my Bible to read the daily Bible selections from the Daily Office Lectionary in the Book of Common Prayer, the Episcopal and Anglican prayer book.

With the prior day’s election still in mind, I was peaceful with the outcome, happy and proud that the nation had recognized the excellence of Obama’s candidacy. The first reading was Psalm 72. I was struck with the prophetic impact of some of the verses in the Psalm:

1 Endow the king with your justice, O God,
the royal son with your righteousness.

2 He will [a] judge your people in righteousness,
your afflicted ones with justice.

3 The mountains will bring prosperity to the people,
the hills the fruit of righteousness.

4 He will defend the afflicted among the people
and save the children of the needy;
he will crush the oppressor.

. . .

12 For he will deliver the needy who cry out,
the afflicted who have no one to help.

13 He will take pity on the weak and the needy
and save the needy from death.

14 He will rescue them from oppression and violence,
for precious is their blood in his sight.

New International Version.

This is what the God of the Bible expects from the King of Israel and from government on this earth, even the United States government. This is what I hope to see from our government. I vote with this in mind. From what I know about Obama and his life and values, I am confident that Obama will bring a heart for the weak, afflicted and the needy to his policies and decisions, and hopeful that he will have the cooperation of Congress and the American people to accomplish what needs to be done. The words of the Psalmist gave me comfort the morning after the election.

My wife also follows this daily reading regimen and she had tipped me off earlier that morning that the Psalm today was prophetically significant. Hopefully, others who read this Psalm this morning after the election around the nation may have felt similar significance and comfort.

Psalm 72 is may be found here. According to commentators, Psalm 72 is both about earthly government, King Solomon, and heavenly government, prophetic statements about the Messiah. See e.g., Matthew Henry’s commentary on the Psalm written in 1706. In the Daily Office Lectionary, the 150 Psalms are arranged in a seven week pattern repeated through the year. The Psalm selections lead off the daily readings. The Book of Common Prayer is a product of the Church of England during the English Reformation. It was first published in 1549, written by Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, at the behest of Henry VIII.

Although I am not an Anglican or Episcopalian, I find Book of Common Prayer Daily Office Lectionary readings a helpful non-denominational devotional tool and daily discipline. The Daily Office is a two year program through the Bible. You will find all of the controversial parts are omitted, as my friend, the Rockin’ Rev Phil Rountree, Rector of St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church in Novato, California, advised when I was beginning the programmed readings. I have a hard time skipping parts of the Scripture though because it is interesting to me, except the lists of ancestors and directions for how to build something.

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