It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High, proclaiming your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night, to the music of the ten-stringed lyre and the melody of the harp. (Psalm 92:1-3)
SGN (Some Good News)
The online journal Medical News Today recently published an article about HSD, or “Headline Stress Disorder.” Apparently, over the past few years, psychologists and researchers have seen a surge in overall social anxiety related to the persistent deluge of negative news stories. This seems to be a particularly stress-inducing phenomenon for women, and for younger adults in their 20s and 30s. If you are interested, you can read the article HERE. While the significant rise in news-related anxiety may not shock you, you might be surprised to know that this article is dated January 16, 2020—well before the current onslaught of COVID-19 pandemic headlines!
In the midst of HSD we could all benefit from SGN (Some Good News).
Enter John Krasinski, the actor/writer/director best known for his role as the affable Jim Halpert on the NBC sitcom The Office (2005-2013). On March 29, Krasinski released the first episode of Some Good News on YouTube. It is, “a news show dedicated entirely to good news.” The show has featured a “Zoom Surprise” with songs from Hamilton performed by cast members; an episode celebrating “Baseball is Back,” after opening day was postponed; even episodes featuring a virtual prom and virtual graduation for students unable to celebrate in person. After six episodes, SGN viewership has been estimated at over 3 million! Like I said, seems like we could all benefit from some good news!
Psalm 92 is a song written to offer some good news in the midst of a stressful news cycle! For more than 2000 years, Jewish and Christian scholars have discussed and debated the origins and author of this song—primarily because of its inscription “For the Sabbath day,” which is the only mention of Sabbath (Shabbat) in all the psalms. Some argue it was written by the first man Adam, when creation was completed; others suggest Moses, after Shabbat was commanded; still others consider David the author, when he had finally received Sabbath rest from his enemies; and some even consider the song to be referring to the eternal rest that awaits God’s people in the world to come (Hebrews 4:9-11).
Those are all wonderfully provocative suggestions. But whoever the writer was, the promise and reality of Shabbat was certainly “some good news.”
The psalmist proclaims God’s “love in the morning” and God’s “faithfulness at night” (vs. 2). God’s love evokes anticipated blessings to begin the day and God’s faithfulness confirms acknowledged blessings at day’s end. The song goes on to celebrate God’s good works (vs. 4-5), God’s good judgment (vs. 6-7) and God’s good promises (vs. 8-15). Even though wickedness and evil are everywhere and seem to be flourishing, the author is certain of their eventual defeat. In that day, the righteous will “flourish” and “grow,” they will “bear fruit in old age,” they will “stay fresh and green.” In a word, they will finally and fully understand and experience Shabbat—God’s promised rest. Each Sabbath day whispers the hope of eternity in our ears.
It is this same divine love and faithfulness that inspires the prophet Jeremiah, even in the most desperate of times, to “wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord” (Lamentations 3:22-26), and it is the same promise of hope spoken in Jesus’ last breath on the cross, “It is finished.” (John 19:30)
Regardless of whether we are facing a Sabbath day or a Thirsty Thursday…or just another Manic Monday, we can truly “rest” in the promises of God. We can anticipate the blessings of His love every morning and acknowledge the blessing of His faithfulness every night. Even in the incessant noise of negative news, we can wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. It is good to “praise the Lord” and “make music” to His name.
That name is Jesus! He is Living Water. Trust in him, wait for him, worship him…and always stay thirsty for him!
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