February 23, 2013
“Let the one who is wise consider these things and see in them the loving kindness of the Lord.” (Psalm 107:43).
Psalm 107 is a great hymn of redemption. In each of the five stanzas this inspired hymn writer profiles a different dimension of redemption the people of God experience. Each description ends with the hymn writer exhorting the redeemed of the Lord to thank the Lord for His goodness to them and His wonderful works in their lives. He demands that if they are redeemed, the people of the Lord should step up and say so!
An extraordinary ministry to high school young people brings their year to a conclusion with a wonderful week of camp meetings in the summer. They bring that week to a verdict with what they call a “say so” meeting when they encourage young people who have come to faith to step up and say so!
In each of the five stanzas in Psalm 107 the hymn writer profiles how the Lord has redeemed His people from their chaos, their chains, their foolish choices, their crises, and their complacency. Then he writes a profound summary of the various vehicles God uses to make these things happen:
He turns rivers into deserts and deserts into flowing springs. They have very fruitful harvests. Then He diminishes them and they are brought low. At that point He blesses them. Their numbers greatly increase and God does not let their herds diminish.
He writes that spiritually wise people will observe these events and see in them what the love of God sometimes looks like.
When these “ups and downs” happen to you, are you spiritually wise enough to see in them what the love of God can sometimes look like for you?
June 27, 2012
“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…” (Psalm 107: 1, 2)
Redemption means to get something back that has been lost. It is similar in meaning to the word “rehabilitation” which essentially means “to invest again with dignity.” I have quoted the first words of a marvelous hymn of redemption. A thought that is repeated at the end of each of the five stanzas in this psalm is that those who have been redeemed by the Lord should step up and say so – gratefully giving thanks for the various ways in which they have been redeemed.
Levels or dimensions of redemption are profiled and each description ends with the charge that we thank the Lord for His goodness in redeeming us in this way. God redeems us from our chaos when He finds us. He then redeems us from our chains when He sets us free from our sins.
This is followed by the way He redeems us from our foolish and sinful choices. He emphasizes our responsibility for bringing on the consequences of our sins.
He then describes the way God redeems us from our complacency by meeting us in our crises from which He redeems us when we are at our wits end and don’t know what to do. He agrees with Isaiah that God creates these crises (Isaiah 45:7).
Meditate on all these levels of redemption. Ask God to continuously redeem you in all these ways. As you reflect on each individual dimension of redemption step up and join the redeemed of the Lord in grateful worship.
And say so…