Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The Redeemed: Those in Greatest Peril

Let the redeemed of the LORD say this: The LORD is good, His hesed (covenant love and mercy) lasts forever. Who are the redeemed of the LORD?
Those who go down to the sea in ships,
  Who do business on great waters,
They see the works of the LORD,
  And His wonders in the deep.
For He commands and raises the stormy wind,
  Which lifts up the waves of the sea.
They mount up to the heavens,
  They go down again to the depths;
Their soul melts because of trouble.
  They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man,
  And are at their wits’ end.
(Psalm 107:23-27)
These are sailors, merchants, businessmen of the sea. They have taken on the most perilous sort of work, but they are also privileged to see the mighty works of the Lord in the wonders of the deep. They admire its great power and beauty, but they also have a very healthy respect for its dangers. It is both exhilarating, and at times, daunting. When the sea pitches them around like drunken men, they lose heart and are far past their ability to cope.
Then they cry out to the LORD in their trouble,
  And He brings them out of their distresses.
He calms the storm,
  So that its waves are still.
Then they are glad because they are quiet;
  So He guides them to their desired haven.
(Psalm 107:28-30)
They turn to the Lord and He hears their cry. He calms the storm and the sea and brings them to safe place. They are glad, perhaps for the first time.

Jesus stood by the Sea of Galilee and said, “Let us cross over to the other side.” So they piled into the little boat and set out. Midway, a great storm suddenly arose and was starting to swamp their vessel. Jesus slept peacefully in the stern, but was awakened by the disciples, “Teacher, don’t You care that we are perishing?”

Jesus arose and rebuked the wind and the waves, “Peace, be still.” All was calm. But He said to the disciples, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” (Mark 4:35-40).
Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness,
  And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
Let them exalt Him also in the assembly of the people,
  And praise Him in the company of the elders.
(Psalm 107:31-32)
Truly God is good to all who seek Him, to all who call on His name. He delivers them from the greatest peril. His works are full of wonder and are to be declared to all the people, even those in the places of highest authority. Thanks and the highest praise belong to His name.