Our help is in the name of the Lord,
who made heaven and earth. Psalm 124:6-8 (NRSV)
Whoever sheds the blood of a human,
by a human shall that person’s blood be shed;
for in his own image
God made humankind. Genesis 9:6 (NRSV)
Not one of these people, even though their lives of faith were exemplary, got their hands on what was promised. God had a better plan for us: that their faith and our faith would come together to make one completed whole, their lives of faith not complete apart from ours. Hebrews 11:32-40 (The Message)
The texts are rich this morning. It’s good for me to be reminded of what I already have been taught. That is what Genesis 9:6 does for me. There are consequences for shedding the blood of another.
Sometimes I can be a bit squeamish about the violent language of the Psalms, all the talk about the enemy. And then I remember some of the circumstances in which I find myself– the sin, the habits that trip me up. I often get used to having them around, keeping them as pets. The Psalms remind me that they are traps with vicious teeth – I need to get angry at them and want to see them destroyed! My declaration this morning is that “I am free from the snare of the fowlers. My help is from the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth!”
It is easy to think that my life of faith is an individual pursuit. Hebrews reminds me that just as the ancients’ lives of faith are not complete apart from us, my life of faith is incomplete apart from theirs, apart from ours.