Precious in our sight
Psalm 72: 10-14 (NIVUK)
10 May the kings of Tarshish and of distant shores
bring tribute to him.
May the kings of Sheba and Seba
present him with gifts.
11 May all kings bow down to him
and all nations serve him.
12 For he will deliver the needy who cry out,
the afflicted who have no one to help.
13 He will take pity on the weak and the needy
and save the needy from death.
14 He will rescue them from oppression and violence,
for precious is their blood in his sight.
“Precious is their blood in his sight.” I love this phrase from the psalmist both for its poetry and for its reality. Visible blood is not a pretty sight, usually it comes from violence or from pain. And when it involves women it is often taboo despite its life giving qualities. Blood gives life to all of us and, especially when it stays in our veins, it is very precious to our bodies and our continued existence. It is important to science and medicine, we can even give blood to help those who have lost it by some misfortune or accident: a life giving gift.
But what about the blood of others while it pumps through their hardworking veins and hearts? It is easy for many to say that blood is precious: blood of family ties, the people we often hold dear. But think of the people around you, those you may not even know, the ones who annoy you. Is their blood precious to you too? Of course we don’t wish harm on people but do we hold them as precious?
God does. The psalmist sings out God will rescue them, take pity on them, save them! Who are we to do otherwise?
God of blood ancient and flowing,
Teach us to look beyond our own blood ties and those ties which feel as close as blood.
Give us the sight to see all blood as precious, just as you do
Task us with the rescue of your precious people from the violent blood loss humans cause both near and far.