Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Psalm 107:1-9 - Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy, and gathered out of the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south. They wandered in the wilderness in a desolate way; they found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them out of their distresses. And He led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city for a dwelling place. Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.
While this Psalm speaks of Israel and their ongoing disobedience and repentance and God's forgiveness, it speaks to all mankind. The message, as is all that is in the Bible, is relevant for today. It speaks of our salvation.
Many denominations/religions believe that being part of a church, going to Sunday school or catechism/confirmation classes or being baptized as a baby (all of which I did) are all it takes for salvation.
What do the words above show us?
Give thanks to the Lord for He is good and His mercy endures forever. He redeemed His people. When? When they wandered in the wilderness, hungry and thirsty, their souls...souls...fainting. They knew something was missing. They had lost sight of the God who they once worshiped and turned to their own ways. And He let them knowing some day they would realize His blessings were not like they had been.
God allows us to wander in our lives the same way. We may never have had a desire for God or thought we were in right standing because we did attend church and the other things mentioned above. But a day would/will come when we realize there is still something missing. It is a hunger in our souls. It might happen in a day of trouble. Most likely not a day but a season when all that seemed good is suddenly lost and we're wondering where has life gone or what have I done or why am I not satisfied even though I'm prosperous and seem to be blessed? We don't know where to turn. That's where Jesus comes in. God has allowed us to get to a place where seeking Him is what it will take to get out of what we view as doldrums, crisis, desperation and what God calls sin. Yes, sin. We are in sin when we are out of God's will.
His people did what we might do: cry out to the Lord in our time of trouble. He turns on the light so our souls might see. I know He did that for me. Suddenly it is clear. And He delivers from those distresses. He takes us down the right path, the right Way, through Jesus. The dwelling place is in Him and He in us.
Some will recognize their "lostness" and seek someone or something or a belief contrary to God. Others will recognize in an instant the One who will guide them down the lighted path so He can satisfy the longing in their souls and fill them with goodness, that other things won't satisfy. It may seem a bitter pill to have to take to learn the truth, but it is worth it. The word emancipate has come to mind a couple times the past couple days. We don't always know we are oppressed at first. In time we know we can't live like this anymore. If we seek God He becomes the way out of that oppression and we take hold of Him and are set free. The load is lightened, the burdens eased. Isn't it worth it? One might wish it had happened sooner.
Let me repeat the words: Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.
2Corinthians 7:9-10 - Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner... For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.