A Broad Place

May 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

According to the Gospel of Luke, the last words that Jesus spoke from the cross were taken from Psalm 31 (see Luke 23:46 and Psalm 31:5).  This psalm is also associated with the death of Stephen, the Christian martyr (see Acts 7:59).  Therefore, Psalm 31 is often used at funerals and associated with occasions of death.  However, this psalms is actually about the life of a believer.  It is a psalm about trusting God no matter what.  A dominant metaphor in this psalm is hand:  “Into your hands I commit my spirit” (31:5); “My times are in your hands” (31:15).  God’s hand of care, protection, and salvation is in contrast with the hands of the enemies (31:8, 15).  Trusting God’s hand to be stronger than the enemy’s hands is based on previous experience of God redeeming the one praying (31:8, 22), and that God has proven himself to faithful (31:3).  The hand of God turns out to be “a spacious place” or literally “a broad place” (31:8).  On the table in my office lies an autobiography of Jurgen Moltmann, a prominent theologian of our time.  The title, “A Broad Place”, is taken from this verse.  A spacious or broad place is a place of safety and security.  May you also experience your life to be a broad place in the palm of God’s hand.

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