Summer Selah: The Truth at the Center

Ross Lester | July 24, 2021 Christian Living Faith, Rest, Sabbath, Spiritual, Summer Selah Series

Summer ought to be a season when we’re able to rest well—a time we can spend with the Lord and His goodness. But, oftentimes, we actually fall out of healthy spiritual habits and end up trying to rest from the Lord instead of resting in Him.

That’s why we’ve created the Summer Selah Series. Over 40 days, we’ll be sharing daily devotions during a season where you may not feel very devoted.

Based on excerpts from his book Selah: Devotions From The Psalms For Those Who Struggle With Devotion, Ross Lester, our Pastor of Preaching and West Congregation Pastor, will provide readings from select Psalms, a brief devotional reflection, and some prayer points for each of the 40 days.

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Reading

Take some time to read Psalm 118. Then, come back and read the following verses again.

“The LORD is on my side; I will not fear.
What can man do to me?
The LORD is on my side as my helper;
I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in princes.” (Psalm 118:6-9 ESV)

Reflection

In his masterful work on the Psalms, Charles Spurgeon notes—in almost a throwaway line—that many scholars contest that verse 8 of Psalm 118 is the very center point of the Bible in terms of number of verses. If there are 31,174 verses in the Bible, then Psalm 118:8 is verse number 15,587. Spurgeon goes on to suggest that we shouldn’t give this undue attention, and I agree. We don’t need to get into superstitious numerology and, besides, the verse numbers were only allocated much later than the sealing of the Canon.

But for the sake of this devotion, I can’t help but dwell a bit on this simple verse that sits right at the middle of it all. It really is such a simple truth that it belongs in the middle.

“It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in man.”

Martin Luther called this discipline (taking refuge in the Lord) “the art of arts” and the “most pleasing and pleasant of sacrifices.” So the question to us today is, are we holding this simple truth at the center of our faith? Are you trusting God or trusting men? Are you relying on God or depending on people for affirmation, identity, and salvation?

At the center of it all is a plea to fear God and to not fear anyone else. Will we listen?

It is better to take refuge in the Lord. Do it.

Prayer

Father God, forgive me for the many ways that I trust in mankind more than I trust in You. Teach me to fear You, and then relieve me of the fear that I have of everyone else.


Ross Lester, Selah: Devotions From The Psalms For Those Who Struggle With Devotion (Magnolia, Texas: Lucid Books, 2017)