Today's devotion from Psalm 107.
"Let whoever is wise pay attention to these things and consider the LORD's acts of faithful love." (Psalm 107:43, CSB) What are these acts of faithful love of which the psalmist writes? We might imagine faithful love being involved in a healthy life or a financial windfall, but that is not what is on the psalmist's mind.
The first three verses praise God's goodness and enduring love because He has redeemed, "from the power of the foe" and has gathered His people together. We agree that this is truly awesome. However, when we read of His methods would we concur with this psalmist's assessment?
God's methods include allowing some to wander, some being chained for rebellion, others were afflicted for their iniquities, sailors being tossed by savage storms, settlers wasting away in barren lands, and a portion being oppressed cruelly. These are all examples of those things that, once experienced, would cause us to question God's love and His goodness. How can these actions be those conducted from faithful love?
The answer is simple. The most loving thing God can do is use any means necessary to bring us back to Him. He alone can offer salvation. He alone can grant grace. He alone is merciful beyond compare. He alone can offer eternal life. How loving would it be for Him to pay no heed to eternity?
Yes. These very acts are those of which the psalmist rejoices. They are the acts of a Father who loves more deeply than we can imagine. They are the acts of a Father who cares more for the eternal wellbeing of His children than the momentary happiness brought about by harmful practices. This is why the psalmist invokes the idea of wisdom. In the moment, we may not see how God's actions are fueled by unquestionable love, but in paying attention the wise can see that even these painful moments are designed because of great care and concern.
Remember, eternal redemption is God's aim, not a shallow and fleeting amusement.