Faith Matters

Rev Andrew Watson: Keeping on the level and standing on firm ground

Do our feet stand on level, solid ground, as the Psalmist David's did?

WHEN we read a little of the Bible every day, we often find parts that relate to what's happening in our lives just then.

Our back garden is sloped and has heavy soil, with the result that when it rains a small lake forms at the bottom end, submerging the path by the shed door.

Just the other week we finished a new extended patio which has raised slabs and a new drain buried round the edge of the grass. While the level has been raised just a few inches the difference is remarkable.

I feel taller - no longer sinking in a damp hollow, but elevated to a firm footing from which I can survey the whole garden.

And what was my Scripture reading the day I took my first steps on this solid platform?

"I love the house where You live O Lord, the place where Your glory dwells... My feet stand on level ground, in the great assembly I will praise the Lord" (Psalm 26: 8, 12).

Now, it's no accident the writer is feeling secure. David must have covered some rough ground as a shepherd boy and fugitive long before he was king living in a palace of fine, chiselled stone.

His Psalms make it clear he often had reason to feel threatened and vulnerable. Several choices helped him stand firm and enjoy this sense of wellbeing, whatever the circumstances.

He chose his close company carefully. In Psalm 26 he states plainly he tries not to spend much time with people who are corrupt or deceitful.

Consider some of the 'company' we've joined this week in what we have viewed on TV or online, in the papers and magazines we have read. Have we chosen company that is edifying or otherwise?

David makes his priorities to be in the place of worship and fellowship and pay careful attention to what God says in Scripture.

Compared to time spent in work and recreation, how much time have we devoted to God his week?

We may have chatted for hours about trivia with friends. How many moments have we turned to prayer, talking to God about things that matter?

David is 'on the level' spiritually, psychologically and emotionally because he has made it his daily habit to think on the truth and love and mercy of his Lord and pray and live accordingly.

But how 'on the level' are we?

The Rev Andrew Watson is minister of the Presbyterian congregation at Cairncastle, Co Antrim. He blogs at

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Faith Matters