A family member recently received a new phone and upon arriving home with it, showed everyone its envy-provoking camera with all of its impressive features. This phone’s camera takes slow-mo videos unlike any phone I have ever seen. (Yes, I know we shouldn’t envy one another’s stuff, but that’s just going to have to be a devotion for another time!) We were then shown a video of a pencil being bounced off a table top, and the amount of detail this camera captured captivated me-from the way the pencil sprung back in the air and spun around after hitting its eraser head, to the small bits of lead that broke off and spread out from under its pointed tip after striking the hard surface. I was amazed and it left me wanting to view it again and again….and well, again! We’ll get back to this part of the story in just a minute.
In Psalm 136 every verse starts out with one of God’s attributes or mighty displays of power that He’s carried out on behalf of His people and ends with, “His faithful love endures forever.” It is a pretty upbeat Scripture-God is awesome and He loves us forever, repeated to us twenty-six times-what’s not to like? It might even take some of us back to the beginning of the decade and soon find ourselves singing Chris Tomlin’s catchy song; I can almost hear the rhythmic clapping of the congregation that once accompanied it as we sang. AND, as a bonus, Psalm 136 is a quick read so we can easily put a checkmark beside the verse on our Bible-in-a-Year Reading Plan! (Did I just write that for all to see? I guess rushing through our daily reading is also going to have to be a devotion for another time…okay, I lie it actually is going to be for this time. Wow, coveting and lying, that’s already two commandments broken in just a matter of minute! Please pray for this sinner.)
Moving on and getting back to the camera, just as the mode needed to be switched in order to take such detail-capturing videos, in this fast-paced, multitasking world we also need to be able to switch modes in order to slow down and capture the details, the intricacies, of things that we’ve seen many times before, like a pencil dropping or the words of God’s love toward us printed on a page, in much greater depth. One way we can achieve this is by taking out a dictionary or concordance (whoops, I mean by pulling up a dictionary or concordance on one our devices that each of us purchased simply because we wanted to and not because we had coveted) and break the verse apart word by word, even the words we think we already fully know, so that when we read, “His faithful love endures forever,” we now read His loyal; constant; true; devoted; unwavering; dedicated; committed and reliable love abides; continues; persists; perseveres and remains for all future time; for always. It’s nice to know that whether I’m up or down or acting like a crazy person coveting and lying, that His love for me is unwavering and will continue to be that way for all future time. Those words, as well as the thoughts they provoke, do just as the video of the pencil did-they captivate me in a way that I want to read them again and again, and well, again! We are nearly halfway through the year, so as we continue our Bible reading plan I pray that we each take the time to allow ourselves to be captivated (filled with wonder and delight) and amazed (surprised greatly and filled with astonishment) by His words to us.