Holy Walkabout: Day 20

Holy Walkabout: Day 20

“Let the one who is wise heed these things
and ponder the loving deeds of the LORD.” Psalm 107:43

The last verse in Psalm 107 now, to wrap it up. I think this sentence would make a good final frame of the end credits of history. When all is said and done, if God had us all sit down to watch creation from beginning to end, right up until the moment of Christ’s final glory and the inauguration of whatever the “new heavens and new earth” looks like, then this one line would make for a good “THE END.” Fade to black, in big white letters, “Let the one who is wise heed these things and ponder the loving deeds of the LORD.” Boom.

Sorry, anyway, if you will, read the rest of Psalm 107 for me. After the last two days, hopefully there are some overall connections. The last two days have had a common challenge, too: to try to let the Psalm go to work on us, particularly if it wasn’t pleasant to us, or ringing true for us, the first time we read it. Whether through repetition, or something more creative (but equally intentional and proactive), we were to meditate on the Psalm and not give up on it.

Part of the reasoning behind all of that has been that the last two days were especially positive pieces of Psalm 107, pieces that promise God’s deliverance and invite us to praise aloud, etc. I assumed such verses could be hard on those who, for whatever reason, weren’t feeling the positivity. The verses can also be hard in our culture — where skeptics (a majority of Americans) ridicule the death out of any idea that God is real and working; or where the experienced wonder why God works nicely for some of us and seemingly notsomuch for others; or where some brands of Christian teach that God’s deliverance is equivalent to earthly success, and is just waiting for a believer to “claim” God’s “favor.” If you don’t know what I mean, learn about green prosperity prayer rags:

. I don’t mean to pick on this guy, and I feel sure he’ll be held to account for this nonsense one day, and me for mine for that matter. But it’s important to let God and God’s deliverance be difficult for us sometimes, and hugely complicated in some ways; God won’t be trapped in a little green cloth.

Scripture makes that clear. If you’ve read all of Psalm 107 now, then you’ve seen that there’s more than superficial positivity here. These are different episodes, over and over, involving everything from prisoners to sailors to God’s own people. Each with different circumstances. It sounds as though some brought their trouble on themselves, others didn’t. Some had known prosperity in God’s sight, and others not. Some needed humbling and others lifting up. The common thread seems to be that undeserved, often unannounced or unforeseen, God is in action on behalf of people. We take that for granted nowadays, especially Christians — the very heart of our faith is anchored to how very much God acted on our behalf in Christ. But let’s not let this unique and awesome fact lose its luster. God isn’t obligated to it, but chooses it. Chooses the sailors and desert wanderers and nobles, and you and me. Today let it sink in again, this Psalm. It promises that the humble-hearted, who recognize God as pure love, will never be disappointed. Ponder the loving deeds of the LORD.

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