Friday, October 02, 2009

Psalm 124

All I have to say about this is: So fricking true!!!!! I know it's about God's goodness to Israel in spite of the world's many attempts to destroy it. From Pharoah to various captivities to Haman to Christian persecutors to Muslim persecutors. But I gotta say, this verse speaks about the experiences of the Bible-believing child of God as well.

I'm thinking of three of my friends -- now dead-- who died from their immune system issues. I remember one friend who went to a Christian church that didn't really believe in healing. They did a wonderful "spiritual" job preparing her to die instead of teaching her how to fight. They thought they were so evolved and great accepters of death. I thought, Aaargh! What crappy non-Christian fatalism is this!

I remember my friend Judith who met me the day before she died suddenly. She said, "Have you seen the doctor about your illness lately?" I said, "Who has money? The gospel was preached to the poor because God knows the sick can't afford doctors. I guess I'll have to trust God." She said, "Trust God but cut the deck" which I took to mean: take come kind of control of the situation. I said, "I'll do what I can to help myself but God has to control the situation. The Lord is my shepherd and he'll take care of me." We ended the conversation with her shaking her head and thinking I was very naive. The next morning I heard she had died in the night.

As the psalmist wrote, "What would have happened to me if I hadn't trusted in God!"  When a doctor has given up on you, it's good to trust in God. But it's even better to learn to trust in God before bad things happen. It's hard as heck to be having to build one's boat in a storm.

Psalm 124

1If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, now may Israel say;

2If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, when men rose up against us:

3Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us:

4Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul:

5Then the proud waters had gone over our soul.

6Blessed be the LORD, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth.

7Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped.

8Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.

King James Version (KJV)

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