You brought a grapevine out of Egypt;
you drove out other nations and planted it in their land.
You cleared a place for it to grow;
its roots went deep, and it spread out over the whole land. (verses 8,9)
Read Psalm 80:7-15
In my student days I studied history at university. I remember a friend saying with a good deal of conviction, ‘Why are you wasting your time on history? It’s all stuff that happened in the past. It’s of no use to you now.’
The people of Israel wouldn’t have agreed with that. They recalled how God had acted in the past and praised him for his grace and goodness. Their escape from slavery in Egypt and their entrance into the promised land reminded them that, even though they’d whined and complained a lot, God had continued to guide and protect them and had finally brought them to a marvellous land. That’s how God had acted in the past, and that’s how he would be in the future.
At your baptism God came in his grace and made you one of his own precious children. He gave you forgiveness and promised to walk with you all your days until the day you enter heaven. He has been strong and gracious in his dealings with you in the past, and he will continue to be your helper and strength in all the twists and turns of your life in the future. With that confidence you can face the future boldly.
Thank you, God, for always being there when I needed you in the past. Be my helper and strength now and in the future. Amen.
by Vincent Gerhardy, in ‘Living Water for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2001)
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