Who doesn’t want to be considered wise? Who wouldn’t want to be characterized as being attentive and discerning. To be known for diligently considering the ways of life, for drawing the right conclusions and then, acting upon those considerations in an appropriate manner. Who wants to be wise? This guy, for one.
So this morning I’m noodling on the steadfast love of the LORD.
Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things;
let them consider the steadfast love of the LORD.
(Psalm 107:43 ESV)
The “things” to be attended to are illustrated by four distressing scenarios common to life.
Sometimes people find themselves wandering aimlessly in the wilderness searching for something but never finding it. Without life-giving food and water, their souls are just running on empty (v. 4-5). Other times, because they have foolishly ignored God’s counsel, they feel like prisoners chained and bound, enveloped in darkness, with no one to draw alongside to protect or support them (v.10-12).
Still others hit the wall after determining to pursue the pleasures of sin. Having so spent themselves on these fleshy pursuits, they are drained of vitality and feel as though they are drawing near to the gates of death (v. 17-18). And finally, there are those who, through no fault of their own, having simply set sail on the sea of life, encounter raging storms. They find themselves at the mercy of seemingly overwhelming tossing waves. Their courage melted away, they are at their wits end as to how to move forward (v. 23-27).
And while the life experiences chronicled by the songwriter are different, they are bound together by one repeating, resounding chorus:
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,
and He delivered them from their distress.
(Psalm 107:6, 13, 19, 28 ESV)
They cried . . . He delivered. They looked up. The LORD bent down.
The “existing One” condescends to being the “present One.” He who graciously leads the wanderer in a straight way until they reach a safe dwelling place. Who sets the prisoner free, bursts apart their bonds, and brings them out of darkness. Who, compassionately and patiently, responds even to the sin-loving fool who cries out for mercy, by sending forth His word, healing them, and delivering them from destruction. And it is He, the Almighty God, who responds to the petition of the storm-tossed sea-sojourner by calming the waves and making still the storm. Who, in His grace, leads those who look to Him to quiet waters and safe havens.
Behold our God!
Let them thank the LORD for His steadfast love,
for His wondrous works to the children of men!
(Psalm 107:8, 15, 21, 31 ESV)
Whoever is wise, consider the steadfast love of the LORD. And then, let them give thanks!
Do it! Sing praise! Confess aloud His wonderful, unfailing kindness. That He is faithful and His goodness is overflowing to those who call out to Him.
Take time to remember anew sins forgiven, chains broken, feet set on straight paths, and tempests tamed. Chew on memories of Spirit-led intercession and God-delivered intervention. Acknowledge His mercy and grace. And then give thanks!
That, says the songwriter, is wisdom. And it can’t help but evoke worship.
What a good way to start the day . . . with a bit of wisdom in the morning.
By His grace. For His glory.