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Part of the FBCS 2010 Read Through the Bible Project: Enter the Story. Join the Song.

Wise Consideration . . .

Revelation 16   Esther 9-10   Psalm 107:23-43

“Consider the steadfast love of the Lord” (Psalm 107:43) . . . A love that hears those who call out to the Lord in their trouble and brings them out from their distress (v.28), and a love that is “true and just” (Revelation 16:7) . . . A love that “raises up the needy out of their distress” (Psalm 107:41), and “pours contempt” (v.40) and “wrath” (Revelation 16:1) on those who “shed the blood of the saints and prophets” (v.6); those responsible for “oppression, trouble, and sorrow” (Psalm 107:39). As the psalmist observes and the day’s readings illustrate, it is wise for us to consider the full spectrum of God’s steadfast love . . .

“It is what they deserve” (Revelation 16:6). The scriptures are consistent in revealing that “God is love” (1 John 4:8) and God’s “steadfast love endures forever” (Psalm 107:1). And today the seer reminds us that the Holy One is also “just” (Revelation 16:4). It is a concept sometimes difficult for us to understand, this inclusion of “true and just” (v.7) judgments under the umbrella of God’s love. “How,” we ask, “can God, who is love, pour out “seven bowls of wrath” (v.1) on the earth?” And “Who can stand receiving ‘what they deserve’ from the hand of the Holy One?” The questions are deep and broad, and they are not answerable in a single day’s reflection. There is, however, guidance offered in today’s texts.

“Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble” (Psalm 107:28). “They.” Who? The psalmist includes the lost (v.4), the rebellious (v.10,11), the foolish (v.17), and the storm-tossed (v.25,26). And when any of them cry out to the Lord, God redeems, rescues, saves them. Any. In light of this, note with wisdom and care the words twice-recorded in Revelation 16: “and they did not repent” (v.9,11). Do you see it? What, dear reader, do you think would happen if they did repent? Would they still receive “what they deserve?” Or would the Lord hear their cry and save them from their distress? As God has been known to do for you and me. On more than one occasion. May we wisely give heed to these things, giving full and deep consideration to the steadfast love of the Lord. And may we thank the Lord who saves all those who call on his name. Amen.

“Let those who are wise give heed
to these things,
and consider the steadfast love
of the Lord.”
— Psalm 107:43

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