[The book of psalms is our songbook of life—in celebration or grief, in confidence or confusion, in joy or anger or despair. I invite you to read and reflect on these songs of life wherever YOU are this week. Read the psalm, read my reflection below, then consider posting and sharing your own observations at the bottom of the page. Today’s devotion is adapted from the post on August 30, 2018]
Many people are saying, “Who will show us better times?”
Let your face smile on us, Lord. You have given me greater joy
than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine.
In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.
(Psalm 4:6-8, NLT)
Quid est veritas? (What is truth?)
It’s hard not to get sucked into the endless 24-hour news cycle, isn’t it? If you own a television, use a computer or listen to your radio or phone on your way to work it’s almost impossible to stay away from the onslaught of news coming from every corner—local, national, global and beyond! How can we possibly sort through it all? How can I know what’s true, what’s beneficial, what’s important? If we’re feeling cynical, we just ignore the whole thing. If we’re feeling conspiratorial, we assume it’s all “fake” news.
The truth is, in many ways it IS fake news!
Don’t misunderstand me, we may be hearing about things that are actually happening—that news is just as true as it is deplorable or sad. And if we sit down in front of our favorite news source or commentary, we will hear them offer opinions and propose solutions that are genuinely insightful and helpful for navigating our reality. But in the end, they’re all commenting on something they don’t understand; they’re all promising something that they can’t deliver.
In Psalm 4, David says “Many people are saying, ‘Who will show us better times?’” That’s as true today as it was when David penned those words 3000 years ago. People are still looking for better times, safer times, happier times. But the better times won’t come by changing political ideologies or leaders; it won’t come from simply figuring out the best way to do this or that; and it won’t come by changing the channel on our TV! The good news…the TRUTH…is that we can find real life in Jesus Christ! He is the one who gives greater joy than we can find in success or affluence; he is the only one who can offer us real peace and security. That’s the good news.
Anyone else who says they can deliver those things is selling you something!
When Jesus was put on trial and brought before the Roman governor Pontius Pilate, he didn’t offer a defense, or an explanation, or even a criticism of the injustice that he was being subjected to. Instead, he told Pilate, “Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” To which the Roman governor replied, “What is truth?” After all, Pilate thought, how can any of us really know what’s true, what’s beneficial, what’s important? (John 18:28-40)
But here’s something you can really be sure of: Jesus is the WAY, he is the TRUTH, he is the LIFE (John 14:6). If you start with the Truth that is found in him, you will be able to measure the truthfulness and reliability of everything else.
So, listen to your news source…seek to understand what’s going on in the world around you…and then evaluate what you hear by what Jesus has said. If you really want the truth—if you really want to know, “Who will show us better times?” then there’s only one place to find the answer. The place is called the Bible, and the answer is named Jesus. He’s the good news you’re looking for. Stay hungry for the truth, and always stay thirsty for the Living Water Jesus is offering.