Psalm 107: 1 O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever. 2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, those he redeemed from trouble 3 and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south. 4 Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to an inhabited town; 5 hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them. 6 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress;
This is a psalm of praise to the Lord. Two things strike me about this passage this morning:
- There is a spirit of gratitude in the passage, despite the fact that God’s people endured hardship. One might think a loving God would spare his children from hardship, but that was not the case – then or now. The people often paid a price for their transgressions.
4 Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to an inhabited town; 5 hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them.
2. After a time of struggle, the Lord would “deliver them from their distress”. The hardship was temporary because the Father’s love and grace were permanent – then and now. Yet the scriptures are clear – the Lord did not withhold discipline to train his children. It was discipline coupled with love, for sure, but it was discipline nonetheless. I’m reminded of a verse from the book of Hebrews:
“For the moment, all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:11)
If you are a child of God by virtue of your baptism, as am I, you can expect God the Father to love you enough to bring discipline – but only for a while. When you’ve learned from your mistakes, you will be “delivered from your distress”. This brings some important questions for me today:
Where might I be experiencing the Lord’s discipline right now?
What are the impediments to righteousness the Lord may be trying to eliminate from my life via adversity?
Can I embrace the discipline, knowing it is an act of love from my heavenly Father?
Gracious God, you are indeed “good”. Your steadfast love for us, your children, endures forever. Give us grace to recognize when we’ve gone astray, and to humble ourselves via repentance of sin – that we may also know your complete forgiveness and restoration. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.