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June 14, 2013

It is interesting how God can teach us in the everyday if we only will pay attention. My reading this morning had me stop by Psalm 106 and Isaiah 46 and those Scriptures together with the storms that rolled through Durham yesterday afternoon seem to be saying the same thing.
The psalmist reminds Israel (and us) of their wanderings, chasing after the world and the tragedy that results in such pointless pursuits. Over and over again they would repent and rebel; yet each time God would rush to aid them whenever they called to Him (and this is the same God of the “Old Testament” that so many think is a God of wrath and vengeance!). Isaiah as well speaks to Israel’s (and our) tendency to build idols to take the place of the Living God even knowing they cannot speak to them or help them. Both sections of Scripture end with a plea, a call to return to the One who does love them:
“Listen to Me, you stubborn-minded,
Who are far from righteousness.
I bring My righteousness, it is not far off;
And My salvation will not delay.
And I will grant salvation in Zion,
And My glory for Israel.”
Isaiah 46:12, 13 NASB
“Save us, O LORD our God,
And gather us from among the nations,
To give thanks to Your holy name
And glory in Your praise.
Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel,
From everlasting even to everlasting.
And let all the people say, ‘Amen.’
Praise the LORD!
Psalm 106:47, 48 NASB

So, what do those particular sections of the Bible have to say regarding a thunderstorm? The power demonstrated in such a storm dwarfs anything man has made and yet all it really consists of is water vapor and air, but their power to disrupt our lives is beyond imagining. At 5:30 yesterday our power went out and I sat in a dark house with no ability to cook, clean or even keep our food fresh. All the things we rely upon to live were taken from me in that instant and I was reminded that without electrical power, our society is dangerously close to collapse. We lit some candles that previously we only lit during meals for the soft glow they provided, but now they provided what seemed a brighter light. As grateful as I was for the candles, I was quick to extinguish them once the electricity was restored at 9:30!
Psalm 106 is a history of Israel’s chasing after idols and ends with a call to God to deliver them that they would again gather together to praise Him; Isaiah 46 is a call from the throne to Israel to remember His righteousness and salvation even in the midst of their stubbornness and rebellion. He calls to us as well; in storms and calm, in prosperity and want He tells us that He will always offer His salvation to whoever will call out to Him. As the storm approached yesterday and the thunder began building in volume and intensity our cats decided to go under the bed. I sat in the living room watching the trees sway in the wind and wasn’t all that worried about the approaching storm (not realizing the electric power that enabled me to read, cook and do my daily chores would soon vanish). Perhaps the cats had the right idea about my approach to the storm; seek shelter until it passes in the one place they’ve identified as the safest. Cannot I also seek that Shelter in any storm?

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