Monday Morning Devotional

Week of January 22, 2018

“Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them…The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy” --- Psalm 111:2, 7

Around the world, various initiatives have been put in place in response to an increasing number of people who are hurting themselves by not looking where they are going while checking their devices. Here are just a few examples:

Government officials in Australia are installing traffic lights in the actual streets themselves in order to prevent accidents by distracted walkers. A similar initiative was launched in Germany at train stations after a girl was hit by a train while looking at her phone.

Honolulu recently passed a law banning pedestrians from looking at their smartphones while crossing the street. This makes Hawaii's largest city, the first in the United States to pass a law aimed at reducing injuries and deaths associated with distracted walking.

And in the Austrian city of Salzburg, lampposts are being covered in airbags to stop so-called “smartphone zombies” bumping into them as they walk around staring at their screens. According to a November 1, 2017 online article by Spencer Williams of, (a website specializing in tech news, tips, security alerts and digital trends), nearly 40 percent of the injured pedestrians involved in accidents were injured because they were distracted by a smartphone device. Salzburg’s Board for Traffic Safety expert Martin Pfanner stated, “Pedestrians are involved in more accidents in the city than anyone else on the streets - including cyclists, moped drivers, and car drivers.”

Psalm 111 is a celebration of who God is and what God has done. The Psalmist draws on both royal and parental imagery to describe who God is. Using metaphors of royalty, God is praised for being “full of honor and majesty” (v. 3). As for the parental imagery, God is praised as one who is “gracious and merciful” (v. 4) and as one who “provides food” (v. 5). But the Psalm also praises God for what God has done. He “has shown his people the power of his works in giving them the heritage of the nations.” He has “sent redemption to his people [and] commanded his covenant forever (vv. 6, 9).

Contrary to being a distraction, as smartphones often are, there is great value and meaning to be found in studying, pondering, and considering who God is and what God has done. James Newsome writes, “In the incarnation and in the crucifixion and resurrection, God peeled back layers of our ignorance and revealed a Deity whose concern for human life and whose involvement in human life…achieved a new level of intimacy and immediacy” (Texts for Preaching, p. 129). Therefore, we join with the saints throughout the ages in studying and delighting in who God is and what God has done.

Prayer: “Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee; Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee; Ponder anew what the Almighty can do, If with His love He befriend thee” (Joachim Neander)