David Chadwell

 

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Daily Devotional - Thoughts From Matthew

 

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Praise in the Middle of Unnecessary Tragedy, Pt. 2

Psalm 106:24-48

When forgetfulness erases past hurtful experiences, the results are terrible.  Such forgetfulness produces needless sorrows and endless tragedy.  The admonition to “put it behind you” does not mean “erase all memory of the experience.”  Wisdom also remembers!

The psalmist said because the people forgot the Lord’s ability, they rebelled, grumbled, and refused His guidance.  The results were tragic!  The generation of adults that left Egypt would die in the wilderness, and eventually their descendants would be scattered in the lands of distant nations.

He gave two examples.  At Peor they worshipped Baal and sacrificed to the dead.  Had it not been for the faith-filled courage of Phinehas even more Israelites would have died.

At Meribah, Israelite adults who left Egypt were faithlessly foolish.  They angered both God and Moses.  Unfortunately, Moses' anger resulted in sin.

When the second generation entered Canaan, they repeated their parents’ lack of faith.  Instead of destroying the idolatrous people, they adopted those peoples’ offensive practices.  The result: They mingled with idolaters, worshipped idols, sacrificed children to demons, shed innocent blood through idolatrous practices, murdered, and defiled themselves through evil deeds.

They caused the God who loved them to abhor them.  God abandoned these people’s descendants to pagan nations who hated them, crushed them, and treated them cruelly.  Despite God’s repeated rescues, Israel rebelled against God.  Even in deserved captivity, God pitied them and caused the captors to show them kind treatment.

The psalmist asked for Israel’s deliverance and praised God.  He urged the Israelites to praise God!

Too often when tragedy strikes, we blame rather than reflect.

April 24, 2016  *  Fort Smith, AR

Need to Turn Your Life Around? Look to the Lord!, Pt. 1

Psalm 107:1-22

People seem to be impatient about their mistakes’ consequences.  Most mistakes are rooted in time and neglect.  Usually a significant event calls attention to the mistake.  Yet, all we see is the horrible fruit.  Rarely do we note the evil roots.  We want a quick turn-around as we ignore the situation’s enormity.  Often we think that God is the fault, not the solution.

The psalmist rejoiced in the understanding that God was the solution.  He called for gratitude for God’s enduring love and willing redemption.  Exiles needed to understand God was the source of their hope!

First, he spoke to the displaced who just wandered about.  They had nothing and suffered horribly in their need.  The situation went from bad to worse until they cried to the Lord.  Only when they depended on the Lord did the situation permanently improve.

Second, he spoke to those who had scorned God.  Later they found themselves imprisoned, in dark and gloomy circumstances, and miserably worked.  Their situation seemed hopeless.  Though they scorned God, the time came when they cried to God. 

The result: the impossible happened!  The darkness ended, the gloom was over, the chains were snapped, and the gates were destroyed.  God was praised for the wonderful happenings!

Third, some knowingly, deliberately rebelled against God.  Later their condition was so bad that they were at the point of death.  They cried to God for help, and God saved them.  He healed them and snatched them from death.  Let them praise God and thankfully sacrifice!

God was the solution, not the problem.

April 25, 2016  *  Fort Smith, AR

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Updated on 04/25/2016