TODAY’S READING: Psalm 106–107
Over and again the Psalms (no matter the particular author) bring our attention back to Bible’s metanarrative: the desire of God to be glorified by every tribe, tongue, people, and nation, a selfless desire, for it is in that worship of God that every people will be made glad. The history of redemption from Egypt is often repeated, as in Psalm 106, with different nuances underlined. If God visited His chosen people to save them once, He can do it again (106:5), so that blessing may be gained and glory shared with others.
The tragedy of the human element in the ongoing story is that blessings always corrupt us. God blesses us spiritually and physically so that all the peoples of earth might likewise be blessed. Over and over again physical blessings lead to the loss of spiritual fervor which leads to lust which leads to God giving us over to our requests which leads to lean souls housed in fat bodies (v. 15). The progression is simple. We start helpless, needy, physically and fiscally unable to help ourselves. Out of that helplessness we cry out to the Lord who in mercy saves us, blesses us, counsels and comforts us. Those blessings are always given so we will bless all peoples in His name, and we may even start out by doing so, but time and temptation take our eyes off the nations and our eyes off our need for God. Physical needs made us spiritually desperate and dependent on Jesus for everything. Physical blessings make us spiritually slothful—the very consequences of God’s blessings pull us away from Him as we no longer acutely sense our need for God. We keep Him on retainer as an insurance policy for all the provisions that wealth cannot supply. We forget God our Savior, the God who did great things in Egypt, wondrous things in the land of Ham, and awesome things by the Red Sea (vv. 21–22).
Not only do we forget the Unforgettable One, we also take up the wicked ways of those we live among, horrifically sacrificing our sons and daughters to demons (v. 37). Since Roe vs. Wade in 1973, more than 50,000,000 babies have been murdered. How many missionaries were murdered in their mother’s wombs? How many astute business people gifted in creating wealth to give to missionary work among the unreached were slain before they drew a breath or donated a dollar? How many billions of hours of intercessory prayer have been lost because men and women who would have stormed heaven on their knees for the sake of those who have never heard were never heard themselves? How much damage, loss, and injury has been done to the spread of the gospel because we killed millions of God’s missionary hearted children in utero?
Make no mistake, the consequence of disobeying God’s commands to live as a holy missionary people never only affects us—it also eternally impacts all the nations of the world. It is no surprise then that “the wrath of the Lord was kindled against His people, so that He abhorred His own inheritance. And He gave them into the hand of the Gentiles” (vv. 40–41). The doom of any nation that rebels against God is sure. That fact that God allows any good to come out of a nation that has brutally murdered 50,000,000 children can only be explained by His unfathomable mercy and the fact that there is a remnant that still lives for the glory of God among the nations. Missionary activity—that is Jesus-centered and gospel-preaching—is scorned and ridiculed by secular America today. Ironically, that activity may be the only reason God has not destroyed this land.
Psalm 107 begins by echoing Psalm 106. It repeats the refrain that those who despise the counsel of the Most High (to live a holy life, so He can live among us, that we might be blessed to bless all nations and peoples of earth) will be brought down to hard labor with none to help in complete distress (vv. 11–13). However, Psalm 107 gives us hope, the hope that God’s mercy endures forever. If we will repent (v. 13), God will yet forgive our wicked ways. If we will exalt Him in the assembly of the people, He will yet bless and multiply greatly (vv. 32, 38). The Psalms remind us that God has never wavered from His purpose: to be glorified by and to satisfy every people group on earth. God blesses His children that live and die toward that end. Those that forget, ignore, or oppose our Missionary God, alongside those who kill His present and future workers, He abhors.