Psalm 36

I have a message from God in my heart
    concerning the sinfulness of the wicked:
There is no fear of God
    before their eyes.

In their own eyes they flatter themselves
    too much to detect or hate their sin.
The words of their mouths are wicked and deceitful;
    they fail to act wisely or do good.
Even on their beds they plot evil;
    they commit themselves to a sinful course
    and do not reject what is wrong.

Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens,
    your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,
    your justice like the great deep.
    You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.
How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!     
    People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast in the abundance of your house;     
    you give them drink from your river of delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
    in your light we see light.

10 Continue your love to those who know you,
    your righteousness to the upright in heart.
11 May the foot of the proud not come against me,
    nor the hand of the wicked drive me away.
12 See how the evildoers lie fallen –
    thrown down, not able to rise!

As those of us in education throw ourselves into a new school year, it can be easy to let the concerns of what is to come overwhelm us. The start of term is often busy and stressful as we organise new lessons or programmes and engage with new groups of children. It can be easy to feel we’re sinking. This psalm reminds us of the faithfulness of God – they ways that he’s gone before us, the ways that he backs us up. The ways in which he carried us through previous busy seasons so that we can stand at the brink of this one. My prayer for you as you begin this new school year is that you would know the love of the Father, that you would be reminded of the righteousness he bestows on your through Jesus. I pray that you would be protected from the foot of the proud coming against you and that the hand of the wicked would be stayed. May you find refuge in the shadow of His wings.

Questions for thought and discussion

  • How can we practically keep ourselves in the shadow of his wings?
  • What might we pray for the young people we’ll have relationship with this year?

Independent Schools West of Scotland and Perthshire

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