Have you ever carried a bucket of water up a hill? Has anyone ever explained to you that the reason your shoulder is getting twisted or your back is hurting might be that the weight you are carrying is a one-sided strain, that it wouldn’t bother you so much if it were divided in two? Two buckets filled with the same amount of water, carried in two hands, giving a balance of weight on each side, or carried on a yoke fitted across one’s shoulders, make it possible to carry a weight that would be impossible all on one side. When carrying water, carry balanced buckets.

Psalm 89:1 is a good song to sing privately to the Lord at the beginning of a day: “I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.” There are such varied mercies to sing about as we think of the kind thoughtfulness of the Lord in all he has given us. We are to make known his faithfulness to all generations—our parents’, grandparents’, children’s, and grandchildren’s generations as well as our own.

One of the central demonstrations of his faithfulness that we need to make known, and also to sing about privately, is the verbalized communication he gave us. His Word, the Bible, is preserved from generation to generation, so we don’t have to start from zero and discover truth for ourselves in some long trek to a secret cave or guru. “Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments”: this verse, Psalm 119:37; helps us to recognize that our Creator made us to have the capacity to understand what he has given us in written form. The same psalm says in verse 105, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” Verse 148 speaks of staying awake ...

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