By: Chad Hyatt
Reflection—v. 8, do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah…
The writer of Psalm 95 offers us a reflection on the events of Exodus 17 as the psalm concludes. Perhaps, when taken as a whole, the psalm is a meditation on what it is to be the people chosen by a saving and redeeming God, who is also its shepherding king. Seen this way, these last lines remind us that chosen or not, despite having been saved and redeemed in an extraordinary manner—and indeed, time and again—we can still harden our hearts to God’s present activity. Such hardening prevents us from entering fully into the restful peace—as ‘sheep of his pasture’—that God promises, that God wills for us. We might even say that this restful peace, this hope of wholesome wholeness, is the very goal of God’s saving. Yet we know that in fact we do harden our hearts. We do resist God’s saving activity in the present—even as we also long with our hearts for the wholeness only God brings. Lent is as good a time as any to examine our hearts, searching for the places where we have grown hard, for signs of our resistance to the attractions of grace.
Prayer God of life, I find my heart hard when I want it to be tender, closed when I want it to be open. Soften my heart so it may open without fear to your grace.