Psalm 31 has become ‘the key scripture for all Ukrainians’. Oldi Morava from Bible Society introduces this profoundly moving video of people across Ukraine reading the Psalm in bunkers and shelters.
My colleagues in Bible Society of Ukraine are still working in Kyiv, and working very closely with a number of local churches and Christian organisations, to distribute food, medicine, Bibles and children’s Bibles as they go from one shelter to another.
They have noticed that during this difficult time, many people want to find strength, rest, but also comfort in their faith and in God’s word. They’re reading the book of Psalms for their own particular context. And Psalm 31 is becoming really significant for the entire nation.
This video was send to us from Ukraine Bible Society. It shows men, women and children in their bunkers, in Ukraine, reading Psalm 31. It is so moving…
I would encourage everyone to read this Psalm from the perspective of all those in shelters right now and experiencing fear and anxiety. See what these words actually mean to them.
In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
deliver me in your righteousness.
Turn your ear to me,
come quickly to my rescue;
be my rock of refuge,
a strong fortress to save me.
Since you are my rock and my fortress,
for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
Keep me free from the trap that is set for me,
for you are my refuge.
Into your hands I commit my spirit;
deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.
I hate those who cling to worthless idols;
as for me, I trust in the Lord.
I will be glad and rejoice in your love,
for you saw my affliction
and knew the anguish of my soul.
You have not given me into the hands of the enemy
but have set my feet in a spacious place.
Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress;
my eyes grow weak with sorrow,
my soul and body with grief.
My life is consumed by anguish
and my years by groaning;
my strength fails because of my affliction
and my bones grow weak.
Because of all my enemies,
I am the utter contempt of my neighbors
and an object of dread to my closest friends—
those who see me on the street flee from me.
I am forgotten as though I were dead;
I have become like broken pottery.
For I hear many whispering,
“Terror on every side!”
They conspire against me
and plot to take my life.
But I trust in you, Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in your hands;
deliver me from the hands of my enemies,
from those who pursue me.
Let your face shine on your servant;
save me in your unfailing love.
Let me not be put to shame, Lord,
for I have cried out to you;
but let the wicked be put to shame
and be silent in the realm of the dead.
Let their lying lips be silenced,
for with pride and contempt
they speak arrogantly against the righteous.
How abundant are the good things
that you have stored up for those who fear you,
that you bestow in the sight of all,
on those who take refuge in you.
In the shelter of your presence you hide them
from all human intrigues;
you keep them safe in your dwelling
from accusing tongues.
Praise be to the Lord,
for he showed me the wonders of his love
when I was in a city under siege.
In my alarm I said,
“I am cut off from your sight!”
Yet you heard my cry for mercy
when I called to you for help.
Love the Lord, all his faithful people!
The Lord preserves those who are true to him,
but the proud he pays back in full.
Be strong and take heart,
all you who hope in the Lord.
I would strongly encourage everyone to pray. The people of Ukraine have experienced this sense of unity among themselves and all the churches of different traditions across the country, but also a huge sense of solidarity around the world.
Let’s pray for God’s compassion and comfort. Many people are losing dear ones, whether they are young soldiers or family members, there is a huge sense of pain. And we need to pray for God’s compassion, and comfort in their lives.
Pray for the Bible Society in Ukraine, pray for church leaders who are still serving in cities that are surrounded and under heavy bombardment, pray for resilience, pray for strength as they try to express that light and hope of Christ at a time that is extremely dark. And pray that we will see a change of events. It can feel that things are getting worse. But we need to hold fast to our faith that God is the Lord of history, and he is the one who can bring change beyond our imagination.
Oldi Morava was speaking to Premier’s news journalist Donna Birrell. For up to date news on the conflict from a Christian perspective visit premierchristian.news