The Shelter of His Wings, Devotional #10
by Jane Josephs
“God sets the lonely in families…” –Psalm 68:6
I’ve always been puzzled about why Bible scholars chose to use the word lonely in the same sentence with families in Psalm 68:6. Doesn’t being part of a family mean you’re not lonely? Or at least, not alone. So, rather than let it go, I did a little digging.
In the footnotes in my Bible, I discovered that this verse could be translated, “God sets the desolate in a homeland. Good, but not as personal as I think God intended it to be. So, I checked my concordance and found the word lonely in Hebrew could also be translated “precious life” or “only child” (special and unique to parents). And that struck a chord with me. The God who loves us purposely sets us in a place where we can belong—in a family.
Scripture tells us that family life has always been a priority for God. As an institution, it is the place He established so that children could learn values, norms, beliefs, and expectations.
But family life has changed greatly in the past few years. One article I read recently called the modern family “weakened and embattled.” The statistics confirm it, according to the Pew Research Center. Two-parent households are on the decline in the United States as divorce, remarriage, and cohabitation are on the rise. The structure of the family is more diverse than ever, and in many cases, continues to evolve throughout a child’s life. With that being the case, is it any wonder that we list “family” as one of our major prayer concerns at PLC?
Pastors Bill Bright and Loren Cunningham write, “In every culture or society there are numerous outside influences that shape the way we think. These external influences are so powerful that whole countries can go one way or the other: either for good or for evil.”
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to put more pressure than ever before on families, what can we do, as the Church, to promote health and stability? What is our responsibility as people of prayer? Is the modern family “an anachronistic institution whose demise is only a question of time”? Not according to God! In His name there is hope, healing, and restoration. By His power, the spirit of rebellion can be defeated. Jesus is still mending hearts, setting captives free, and saving souls. In the words of Phil Wickham’s song Battle Belongs, “So when I fight, I’ll fight on my knees with my hands lifted high.” That, my friends, is the place of victory for the family.