Outdoing our expectations

Outdoing our expectations

December 09, 2019

December 9th Advent Devotion


The king rejoices in your strength, Lord.
    How great is his joy in the victories you give!

You have granted him his heart’s desire
    and have not withheld the request of his lips.
You came to greet him with rich blessings
    and placed a crown of pure gold on his head.
He asked you for life, and you gave it to him—
    length of days, for ever and ever.
Through the victories you gave, his glory is great;
    you have bestowed on him splendor and majesty.
Surely you have granted him unending blessings
    and made him glad with the joy of your presence.
For the king trusts in the Lord;
    through the unfailing love of the Most High
    he will not be shaken.

Your hand will lay hold on all your enemies;
    your right hand will seize your foes.
When you appear for battle,
    you will burn them up as in a blazing furnace.
The Lord will swallow them up in his wrath,
    and his fire will consume them.
You will destroy their descendants from the earth,
    their posterity from mankind.
Though they plot evil against you
    and devise wicked schemes, they cannot succeed.
You will make them turn their backs
    when you aim at them with drawn bow.

Be exalted in your strength, Lord;
    we will sing and praise your might.
—Psalm 21

You’d never know it by the condition of my office, my house, or my car but I love proper organization.  Everything having its own place and everything in its right place creates its own sense of peace for me. On the written page, grammar performs the function of peace-giving organization. Grammar is a beautiful thing. It helps us to convey in writing and speech, some sort of timeline and organizational structure to our communication.

The psalmist is a wiz at conveying some beautiful truths and journeys with the mere conjugation of verbs. Here in Psalm 21, we see that organization at work.

This Psalm is split into two parts: the first half, verses 1-6, looks back in praise at the things God has done with joy, faith, and prayer. The great things God has done when asked and even more so, at the great things God has done through prayers that were answered before they were even asked. Prayers that were answered before we were able to form them into publish-worthy poetry as the psalmist fashioned. Prayers created when we only could hope against the worst-case scenarios that swirled in our minds. God outdoes our expectations.

The second half of the Psalm, verses 7-13 turns toward the future, a future we can anticipate with hope, faith, and prayer. It reminds us that moving forward, we do not go into the future alone.

Thankfully, we are not faced with the same enemies as King David’s Israel, so our language can reflect a different time in our history. In our Advent season of anticipation, we are called to prepare, to organize ourselves, our thoughts, and our prayers knowing that God is with us, ready to outdo our expectations. 

Prayer: Divine Creator, Thank you for your faithfulness throughout history, reminding us that you have, are, and will be guiding us through our seasons of life, especially this season of Advent. Amen.

By: Rev. Sarah Karber