A GIFT FOR HIS ALTAR?
“May my spoken and unspoken thoughts be pleasing
even to you O Lord my Rock and my Redeemer
(Living Bible) “… Accept them when I place them
on the morning altar …” (The Message) Psalm 19:14
Most people are familiar with this renowned painting by Jean-Francois entitled the Angelus. It depicts a man and a woman standing in a field. They are farmers. He holds his cap reverently as he stands with bowed head; and she clasps her hands as a prayerful look is reflected on her face. They pause in prayer near the end of the workday.
This painting seems to encapsulate the message of the verse printed above wherein the psalmist suggests we take all of our day’s thoughts and words and place them on the altar as an offering for our lord. Not just some of them but all of them. Such an act might prove quite disconcerting to each of us as some of our thoughts if not our words might not be viewed as fitting offerings. When we consider how many people with whom we may have had contact each day, we might ask ourselves how many of our words were encouraging, uplifting and reflected our Christian love? Might we be a bit reluctant to place at least some of them on the altar?
Despite our possible reluctance to do so, does any believer really have any doubt that they are already known to Him? Does not the scripture passage state: “Lo, I am with you always …”? Surely our spoken and unspoken thoughts do not escape His notice! We may content ourselves by claiming we did not use profanity in the course of the day. However, maybe this is a delusion. The unkind words we speak to or about our fellow man must seem to be profane to our Lord. Would any of us, like the psalmist, be willing to place our verbal and nonverbal offerings on the altar at the close of our day?