“He turns rivers into a wilderness,
And the water springs into dry ground;
A fruitful land into barrenness,
He turns a wilderness into pools of water,
And dry land into watersprings.
He also blesses them, and they multiply greatly;
And He does not let their cattle decrease.
Then they are diminished and brought low
Through oppression, affliction and sorrow,
Whoever is wise will observe these things,
And they will understand
The lovingkindness of the LORD.”
(Psalm 107: 33-35; 38, 39, 43)
The risen Christ chastises complacency in the lives of His authentic disciples. We learn this from the third chapter of the book of Revelation. This is a letter to a lukewarm church in which He tells them He would rather they would be hot but if they’re not going to get hot He prefers them to get cold because their complacency makes Him want to vomit! He chastises those He loves in their church. He is knocking on the door of their lives and that knocking is chastisement motivated by His love for them.
We have the same message here in this great psalm of redemption. God blesses His people and then at times He diminishes them and they are brought low. After expressing that truth with beautiful and eloquent metaphors this inspired hymn writer informs us that if we are wise, when we observe these things we will see in them the lovingkindness of the Lord! This is God redeeming us from our COMPLACENCY because He loves us.
It is easier to see the Providence of God when we look back. As you stand on the threshold of a new year and you look back over your life can you resonate with this fifth level of redemption? Then say so!