Psalm 144. Blessed Shalom.

Today’s Lectio Divina: Excerpts from Psalm 144. (MsgB)

A David Psalm.

O God, let me sing a new song to You, let me play it on a twelve-string guitar—
A song to the God who saved the king, the God who rescued David, His servant.

Make our sons in their primelike sturdy oak trees,
Our daughters as shapely and bright as fields of wildflowers.
Fill our barns with great harvest, fill our fields with huge flocks;
Protect us from invasion and exile—eliminate the crime in our streets.

How blessed the people who have all this!
How blessed the people who have God for God!


Have you ever pondered a bit on the little word, blessed?

It’s a word the Bible uses often in describing the lives of those who love and obey God.

Jesus made an entire sermon out of this one little word blessed. We call it the Sermon on the Mount. I’m guessing that Jesus just called it His little blessed talk.

Being blessed, you see, is a nice thing. When your friends bless you, it usually includes a bunch of nice words spoken about you, and on occasion, it can also include a gift or two. In many churches around the world, Christian and otherwise, one can go to the temple or cathedral and ask the priest to bless you. That’s generally considered in our society as a nice thing and many folks take that kind of blessing as one from God.

But in a biblical sense, when the Hebrew Scriptures refer to a blessing from God, such as the blessings King David refers to here in Psalm 144; the ancient Hebrew word shalom comes into play.

Shalom.

At first glance, most folks think that shalom is a quaint Jewish word simply meaning peace, or the absence of war.

But beware. When you begin to unpack shalom, you begin a life-long journey that envelops your entire being.

Shalom is much, much more than just earthly peace. It’s more than a nice little greeting that people living in land of Israel use when saying hello or goodbye to friends.

Shalom, you see, encompasses completeness, wholeness, prosperity, complete health and welfare.

Shalom is a rich blessing that comes only from God. A blessing that touches every aspect of one’s life. Our physical being. Our spiritual being. Our land. Our work. Our home. Our spouse. Our family. Our friends. Ourselves.

King David, here in Psalm 144, begins to scratch the surface of shalom when he sings this rich blessing prayer over Israel’s sons and daughters…

Make our sons in their primelike sturdy oak trees,
Our daughters as shapely and bright as fields of wildflowers.

He continues praying for shalom as he strums his twelve-string guitar and sings over his earthly possessions…

Fill our barns with great harvest, fill our fields with huge flocks.

But wait. We’re not done yet. There’s more!

David continues praying for shalom as he asks God to bless his homeland with these words…

Protect us from invasion and exile—eliminate the crime in our streets.

Shalom.

So much more than just a few words can describe.

Maybe Jesus described shalom best when He invited His disciples (in John 10:10) into this…

I came so (you) can have real and eternal life, more and better life than (you) ever dreamed of.

To that blessing of shalom, I say…

How blessed the people who have all this!
How blessed the people who have God for God!

Yes and Amen. Even so come, Lord Jesus. Even so come!

My prayer: Father, Your blessing of shalom is a magnificent thing. Help me lay down all other earthly pursuits for blessings and riches and look to You, alone, Lord for Your shalom flowing through my life. I receive Jesus’ invitation to come to Him so that this real and eternal life He speaks of will begin working in and through both me and my household. For Your name’s sake. Amen.

My questions to ponder: How have I under-appreciated the rich blessings associated with God’s shalom? What might it look like in my life to lay down my pursuit of earthly blessings and riches and pursue wholeheartedly, and with passion, the rich shalom of God over my life?

So what is God speaking to you today as you ponder the Psalms?


Over a 50-week period, you and I will take a deeper look at The Psalms: God’s Songbook of Prayers. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Contemplating the Psalms home page for ease of use. Keep in mind that one of the best ways to explore the on-going applications of this blog series is to walk alongside a biblically-based, Christ-centered spiritual director who is familiar with how to make material like this part of your overall spiritual formation in God. Many of our directors in our Contemplative Activist network are available to companion you in your journey with Jesus. Click here for more info.

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Click here to continue on this blog series…

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