Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The Redeemed: Fools in Sickness

Fools, because of their transgression,
  And because of their iniquities, were afflicted.
Their soul abhorred all manner of food,
  And they drew near to the gates of death.
(Psalm 107:17-18)
These are those who did not walk in the fear of the Lord and the wisdom of God. They were not naïve, at least in the eyes of the world, but they very intentionally took the path of rebellion and evil. This rampant evil in their souls brought forth the natural consequence of sickness and disease in their bodies. Moving past all desire for physical nourishment, they became intimately acquainted with death, and lingered at its gates.
Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble,
  And He saved them out of their distresses.
He sent His word and healed them,
  And delivered them from their destructions.
(Psalm 107:19-20)
It does not matter that their wretched condition was brought about by their own willful behavior — when they turned to the Lord, He heard their cry and rescued them from their troubles. More specifically, He sent forth His Word to heal them, and quickly slipped them away from the gates of death.

This is always God’s way — when we turn to Him and call on His name, He hears and delivers us. James said, “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven” (James 5:14-15).
Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness,
  And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving,
  And declare His works with rejoicing.
(Psalm 107:21-22)
The word “men” is not in the original text, but is supplied by the translators. The idea is that these fools and rebels, who have experienced the salvation of the Lord in such wondrous ways, should gratefully acknowledge the mighty works of God. Since we have all had something of the fool and the rebel inside of us, this exhortation broadens out to all.

“Sacrifice the sacrifices.” This is an idiomatic saying used for emphasis: Give your reverent praise and adoration to the Lord, and don’t hold back — give it everything you’ve got! Not only that, but got out and declare it widely, with great rejoicing (literally, with squeals of joy).

Are you in need of healing, forgiveness or some other form of deliverance? It doesn’t matter that it may be because of your own foolishness, or even rebellion. God will not force Himself on you, but if you cry out to Him in faith, He will gladly send His Word and heal your disease.