This weekend I’m continuing to dig for pieces/peaces of scripture that speak assurance and comfort for health, forgiveness, joy in living; really, whatever is speaking to me today. (By the way, I started doing this at the suggestion of a friend. She was one of several who spoke of the comfort found in collecting scriptures that buoyed the heart and soul.) This time, I’m digging in the Wisdom of Solomon, which is another Apocryphal book. It was written to the Jewish people living in Alexandria as a testimony to remind them of their history as the people of God, and to shore them up in their faith so that they would not abandon it. (Again, I’m referencing the HaperCollins NRSV Study Bible.)
Here are some tidbits I found to be comforting, even taken out of context (which is usually what we are doing when we lift quotes). That’s not a bad thing, when it leads us to learn something or gain something in our understanding of faith or our relationship with God. In these quotes, the emphasis is mine.
For they will be made holy who observe holy things in holiness, and those who have been taught them will find a defense. Therefore set your desire on my words; long for them, and you will be instructed. ~WoS 6.10-11
My take: if we seek God’s word with great intent, striving to do God’s will, we will be guided by God’s word.
But your children were not conquered even by the fangs of venomous serpents, for your mercy came to their help and healed them. ~WoS 16.10
My take: even when bad things happen to the faithful people of God, God will give mercy and healing to the faithful.
For neither herb nor poultice cured them, but it was your word, O Lord, that heals all people. For you have power over life and death; you lead mortals down to the gates of Hades and back again. ~WoS 16.12-13
My take: God is all powerful and with us every step of the way, even though we might feel alone in our darkest struggles, God is there alongside. There is healing in God’s word and God decides who lives and dies.
For in everything, O Lord, you have exalted and glorified your people, and you have not neglected to help them at all times and in all places. ~WoS 19.22
My take: And again, God is always present and does not disregard or fail God’s people.
Doing this makes me think of the older generation of faithful folk who memorized mile after mile of scripture; recalling it in times of need so that it might bring comfort to themselves and those around them. I think also of those, again in that generation, who were prisoners of war and had all their material possessions taken. They still had that which they stored in their minds and it was what held them together. A powerful witness indeed!
What scripture or words speaks to you in times of trouble, need or fear? When did you learn them? Are they fully memorized or do you have them bookmarked so that you can easily find them again and again?