February 12 | Bible in a Year: Leviticus 11-12; Matthew 26:1-25
The Ticking Watch
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him.
READ PSALM 37:1–7
A group of workers were cutting ice out of a frozen lake and storing it in an icehouse when one of them realized he’d lost his watch in the windowless building. He and his friends searched for it in vain.
After they gave up, a young boy who’d seen them exit went into the building. Soon, he emerged with the watch. Asked how he’d found it, he replied: “I just sat down and kept quiet, and soon I could hear it ticking.”
The Bible talks much about the value of being still. And no wonder, for God sometimes speaks in a whisper (1 Kings 19:12). In the busyness of life, it can be hard to hear Him. But if we stop rushing about and spend some quiet time with Him and the Scriptures, we may hear His gentle voice in our thoughts.
Psalm 37:1-7 assures us that we can trust God to rescue us from the “wicked schemes” of evil people, give us refuge, and help us stay faithful. But how can we do this when turmoil is all around us?
Verse 7 suggests: “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him.” We could start by learning to keep silent for a few minutes after prayer. Or by quietly reading the Bible and letting the words soak into our hearts. And then, perhaps, we’ll hear His wisdom speaking to us, quiet and steady as a ticking watch.
By Leslie Koh
REFLECT & PRAY
Loving God, grant me the patience and discipline to stay still for a while each day, that I might hear Your gentle whisper in my life.
How can you be still before God each day? What will help you stay silent and listen?
After Psalm 37’s opening exhortation not to be upset by the short-lived vitality and success of those who ignore God (vv. 1-2), a series of commands follow that call for faithful dependence on Him (vv. 3-8). The remainder of the psalm describes the conduct of two kinds of people (the righteous and the wicked), who follow two different paths and end up at two different places (vv. 9-11, 20). In various ways, the wicked harass and prey upon the righteous (vv. 12-15, 32). But the righteous aren’t alone. God—in whom they trust and delight and upon whom they wait—protects them, making them safe and secure (vv. 16-17, 23-26, 32-33). The conclusion speaks powerfully to those who place their faith in God. “The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in time of trouble. The LORD helps them and delivers them . . . because they take refuge in him” (vv. 39-40). Arthur Jackson