Read Psalm 28

from Gregory Widener, Huntington, West Virginia

Psalm 28 contains a number of interesting titles for God. In verse 1 we have “my rock.” In verse 7 we have the words “the Lord is my strength and shield,” and in verse 8 we have the words “fortress of his anointed.” In the last verse of this Psalm most translations say “be their shepherd” (of Israel), but the Hebrew actually says “be the feeder of the people.”

The interesting thing about some of the names and titles for God in the scriptures is that some of them do not seem to modify God well. For example, we have in Psalm 28 the words “rock,” “shield,” and “fortress” used for God. Normally, if you want to use skilled metaphors for something you use the same typology for comparison. For example, if you want to describe an inanimate object (like a rock) you would use another inanimate object for comparison; if you want to compare a biological entity (like a person) you would use another biological creature for comparison. Yet we find in scripture that God is compared to a rich variety of objects, creatures, and human descriptions. Since God is simply beyond human description, any comparison will do as long as it makes a point.

I believe that meditating on the titles, metaphors, and names of God is a very helpful way to draw our hearts closer to God—particularly in the Lenten season. The very purpose of Lent is to acknowledge our own sins and frailties in light of the awesome forgiveness, grace and redemption of God. When we ponder the vast number of titles for God in the Bible we become more aware that “God’s thoughts are above our thoughts, and God’s ways above our ways.” This realization is a helpful prerequisite for repentance on our part. In this Lenten season, let us contemplate our great God, and choose to draw closer to the God of the Ages.

O God of the Universe, help us to love you more

and to draw ever nearer to You. Amen!