Friday, September 23, 2016

God Is Personally Interested

Psalm 113:1-9

“Praise ye the LORD. Praise, O ye servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD.” (Psalm 113:1)

People who serve the Lord have experienced his salvation, and the peace of knowing there is nothing standing between them, and they regularly experience his working  on their behalf.  Unfortunately, emotions are very volatile, changing with our circumstances, so that even a minor difficulty can send one into depression, if allowed to do so.  By staying focused on the things God has done for us, we can reduce the volatility of our emotions, and as Christians we have a great deal to be thankful for.  .    

“Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore.  From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord's name is to be praised.” (Psalm 113:2-3)

We ought to be thanking god for what he does and who he is from the time the sun comes up until it goes down in the evening.    Before artificial lighting was available, most people went to bed shortly after the light faced in the evening, and got up as it began to get light in the morning.  Literally what the psalmist is saying is that we should be praising God every waking moment. 

“The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens.  Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high, Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!” (Psalm 113:4-6)

A couple of times during his presidency, Barak Obama made visits to a carefully selected person’s home, making a lot of headlines because he took time to visit with someone who had no particular political importance.  God is more important and powerful than any world leader,  ruling the entire universe, not just a single country or even a single planet, yet he is willing to come into the lowliest and least important person’s home and spend as much time as needed to personally address their concerns.    By comparison, our president was too involved with his golf game to even hold a press conference or check that FEMA took action when floods in Louisiana forced thousands of people to evacuate and killed many. 

“He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill; That he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people.” (Psalm 113:7-8)

God took a little shepherd boy from a relatively unknown family and made him King of Israel.  He has taken some of the poorest and most forgotten people and given them positions of great authority, here on earth, and in his eternal kingdom, according to Revelation 5:10.  “And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” 

“He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD.” (Psalm 113:9)

He is able to give a woman who is unable to have children a family to care for, giving her the joy of motherhood.  Sarah was ninety when she gave birth to Isaac, for example.  Knowing he takes a personal interest in us, even knowing how many hairs are on our heads, and that he is concerned about our most secret desires, we ought to thank him for even caring.  Most human leaders would not.  

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Reward For Obedience

Psalm 112:1-10

“Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.  His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.  Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever.  Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.” (Psalm 112:1-4)

The person who holds God in high respect, taking pleasure in him will be greatly blessed.  In John 14:21-24, Jesus spoke to his disciples.  “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?

 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.  He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.”

The person who loves the Lord and obeys him will experience God’s love in ways others do not.  He will have an awareness of God being with him and working in his life.  They will have a relationship those who do not obey will never experience.   The Spirit will produce the fruit of the Spirit in him, and he will have financial security and hope when others have none and his descendants will prosper. 

“A good man showeth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion.  Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.  He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD.  His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies.” (Psalm 112:5-8)

That good man demonstrates the fruit of the Spirit in his life, showing love and concern for others,  and trying to help them by lending things they need.  He makes wise choices so that he doesn’t have to fear God’s punishment.    Because of his commitment, he will not be constantly flip-flopping on what he does, but will always be known for doing what is right.  Because he trusts the Lord he will not live in fear when things appear to be going badly, but will focus on God’s promises until he sees them fulfilled. 

“He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour.  The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish.” (Psalm 112:9-10)

Because he has been willing to share, and give to those who are poor, his reputation for doing right will last forever, and he will be highly respected.  Those who do wickedly will be jealous of his rewards and avoid association, losing all hope as they see him rewarded.  

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Fear Of The Lord

Psalm 111:1-10

“Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.” (Psalm 111:1)

Once again, the psalmist tells us we should praise the Lord, literally to take time to describe his wonderful works and thank him for them.    He has made a commitment to praise him with his whole heart. Not just halfheartedly, or going through the motions, whether in a church foull of dedicated Christians or out in public with everyone around. 

“The works of the LORD are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.  His work is honourable and glorious: and his righteousness endureth for ever.” (Psalm 111:2-3)

What God does is beyond human capabilities or comprehension.  Like a person who cares about another person, those who care about him take time to look at the things he has done and praise him for them.  Everything he does is deserving of respect and praise, and he will keep doing what is right forever.      

“He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the LORD is gracious and full of compassion.  He hath given meat unto them that fear him: he will ever be mindful of his covenant.  He hath showed his people the power of his works, that he may give them the heritage of the heathen.” (Psalm 114:4-6)

We look at the Pyramids and the ancient Egyptian civilization with awe.  The ancient Greek ideas of democracy and Roman legal system still influence our thinking today, yet those ancient cultures have collapsed and their buildings are in ruins.   The things God created, the earth, the planets, even mankind themselves continue.  His standards of right and fairness exceed even those of the Greeks and Romans and are far better known.    All those kings have died and their power is no longer exhibited, but God continues to care for his people and the covenants he made are still in effect.  Even today we see demonstrations of his power, and one day, we will receive the things he has promised his heirs. 

“The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure.  They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.  He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.” (Psalm 111:7-9)

God does nothing in a deceitful manner, nor is he ever unfair.  Our justice system is based on human opinions while God’s is based on actual facts and knowledge.  Human laws change with each new administration, but God’s laws will remain in effect as long as the earth remains, according to Matthew 5:18.  “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”  We can be sure we are doing what is right by obeying them, but he has provided a means of redemption for his people when they fail to live up to the standard, so that his covenant or contract will remain in effect forever.    He is sinless and deserves our utmost respect. 

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.” (Psalm 111:10)

Intelligence is the ability to think and learn from our experiences.  Knowledge is the things we have learned or know.   Wisdom is understanding the limits of one’s knowledge and abilities.    As we understand that God created the univerwe according to certain principles and physical laws, we begin to understand our limitations.  Hence, the statement that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.    People who keep his commandments understand that he is in control and stay within the limits he has set.  As a result they make far less serious mistakes than those who do not, and they praise him for their ability to accomplish things. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

A Prophecy Of Christ’s Coming

Psalm 110:1-7

A Psalm of David.

“The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. “ (Psalm 110:1)

Matthew, Mark, and Luke all record Jesus as saying this psalm was a prophecy of him as the Messiah.  Mark 12:35-37 gives the details of this first verse.   “And Jesus answered and said, while he taught in the temple, How say the scribes that Christ is the son of David?  For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The LORD said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.  David therefore himself calleth him Lord; and whence is he then his son?”  

Hebrews 1 and 10 refer to this first verse in stressing the pivotal role Christ plays in our salvation, but the entire psalm is about him.  It was written over a thousand years before Christ came.

“The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.   Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.” (Psalm 110:2-3)

When Christ came every effort was made to kill him and prevent his accomplishing God’s purpose.   Since his ascension into heaven, he has been seated at the right hand of the throne waiting until he is given his kingdom.   In the mean time, his people count it a privilege to serve him, glorying in the peace, joy, and freedom they find.   

“The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.” (Psalm 110:4)

Genesis 15:6 tells us, Abraham “… believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.”  God went on to establish his covenant with Abraham.  At the time, Melchizedec was God’s high priest, and effectively responsible for seeing the contract was followed much like the inspectors we hire to today to see that the terms of the contract are met. 
Some six hundred and fifty years later, God gave the law to Israel and established the Levitical priest hood.  As Paul points out in Galatians 3:15:15-22, The Levitical law did not any change God’s covenant with Israel.  “Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.   Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.  And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.  For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.  Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.  Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.  Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.  But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.” 

As Paul pointed out, the Law was a separate contract that in no way changed the original covenant because it was written long after the original contract went into effect.  The scripture stated that Israel had spent four hundred thirty years in Egypt before the Law was given and that alone was enough to prove it could not be part of the original contract, without calculating the rest of the time involved.  Pauls statement in no way contradicts the Genesis and Exodus records.  In modern English, we would have added the words ‘more than’ to prevent confusion, but Paul was not writing in English. 

As a priest after the order of Melchizedec, Christ enforces or administers the original contract with Abraham, rather than the later contract or covenant with Israel.  Hebrews 6-9 explain this in detail, Making this verse quite important.    

“The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath.  He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries.” Psalm 110:5-6)

When he returns, at the end of the seven years of Tribulation, Christ will wipe out the armies of the world, and it will take months to bury all the bodies of those who will be slain.  All the countries of the world will surrender to him, and he will make Jerusalem his capital, ruling with a rod of iron, severely punishing any who violates his law.  During his reign crime and disease will be almost unknown. 

“He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head.” (Psalm 110:7)

Because he has experienced the life on earth as a human being, literally drinking the water from the brook like other people, he will be able to understand forgive in a way those who have not experience ti cannot.  Hebrews 4:14-5:10 explains the importance of this prophecy. 

“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.  Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.
And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins.  And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.  So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.  As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.  

Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;  Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.” (Hebrews 4:14-5:10)

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Asking God To Avenge Him

Psalm 109:1-31

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

“Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise; For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue.  They compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause.  For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer.  And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love.” (Psalm 109:1-5)

 David asks that God speaks on his behalf, because his enemies are attacking him verbally, slandering him, and hating him without reason.    The wicked hate those who do right because it makes them feel inferior.  Rather than change their attitudes, they begin to accuse him of what they would do themselves, retaliating against him for treating them well.  Romans 12:20 instructs, “Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.”  We are not killing them with kindness, as some believe, but rather emphasizing their wickedness, making it clear what they deserve. 

“Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand.  When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let his prayer become sin.  Let his days be few; and let another take his office.  Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.  Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places.  Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; and let the strangers spoil his labour.” (Psalm 109:6-11)

Because of their sin, David asks that they would be treated in the same way they have treated him, with a wicked person trying to control them, with Satan leading him.  Let him be condemned the same way the has condemned God’s man and let his prayer be and abomination to God.    They had sought to kill David and take his position, so David asks that they experience what they had tried to do to him.  Leaving their wives widows and the children as orphans, forced to go dumpster diving to survive.   He prayed that vandals would wipe out their stuff and thieves rip them off just as they had tried to do.  While this may sound harsh, it is exactly the principle behind the Golden Rule, that person deserves to be treated the way he treats others. 

“Let there be none to extend mercy unto him: neither let there be any to favour his fatherless children.  Let his posterity be cut off; and in the generation following let their name be blotted out.  Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with the LORD; and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out.  Let them be before the LORD continually, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth.  Because that he remembered not to show mercy, but persecuted the poor and needy man, that he might even slay the broken in heart.” (Psalm 109:12-16)

Because they showed no mercy, James 2:13 warns, “For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath showed no mercy…”    Having tried to destroy David’s descendants, They deserved to have their entire line destroyed, and his sin should not be forgiven, but let God be reminded of them forever. 

“As he loved cursing, so let it come unto him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him.  As he clothed himself with cursing like as with his garment, so let it come into his bowels like water, and like oil into his bones.  Let it be unto him as the garment which covereth him, and for a girdle wherewith he is girded continually.  Let this be the reward of mine adversaries from the LORD, and of them that speak evil against my soul.” (Psalm 109:17-20)

God is a merciful God, willing to forgive nay sin, but at the same time he is a righteous God who will not just ignore sin,  Nahum 1:2-3 tells us, “God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies.  The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.”  If people refuse to make their sin right, he will take revenge for what they have done to others. 

“But do thou for me, O GOD the Lord, for thy name's sake: because thy mercy is good, deliver thou me.  For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me.  I am gone like the shadow when it declineth: I am tossed up and down as the locust.  My knees are weak through fasting; and my flesh faileth of fatness.  I became also a reproach unto them: when they looked upon me they shaked their heads.” (Psalm 109:21-25)

God has promised to protect those who seek him and follow his word.  David asks that God keep his promise, not because of David’s righteousness, but for his own reputation as a God who keeps his promises.  David’s knees hurt from the time fasting and praying, and his enemies made fun of him or considered him stupid to keep serving God. 

“Help me, O LORD my God: O save me according to thy mercy: That they may know that this is thy hand; that thou, LORD, hast done it.  Let them curse, but bless thou: when they arise, let them be ashamed; but let thy servant rejoice.  Let mine adversaries be clothed with shame, and let them cover themselves with their own confusion, as with a mantle.” (Psalm 109:26-29)

David asks that God take vengeance, but in such a way that his enemies know it is God doing it rather than David retaliating against them.  May they realize their own wickedness has caused their punishment. 

“I will greatly praise the LORD with my mouth; yea, I will praise him among the multitude.  For he shall stand at the right hand of the poor, to save him from those that condemn his soul.” (Psalm 109:30-31)

David’s prayer was based on total conviction that God would do what he said, protecting and avenging those who serve him from those who are in power.  

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Expecting God To Do His Part

Psalm 108:1-13

A Song or Psalm of David.
“O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise, even with my glory.” (Psalm 108:1)

David was determined to give God the praise he deserved.  He would use his own position and power as king to see that the entire nation heard. 

“Awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early.  I will praise thee, O LORD, among the people: and I will sing praises unto thee among the nations.  For thy mercy is great above the heavens: and thy truth reacheth unto the clouds.  Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: and thy glory above all the earth;  That thy beloved may be delivered: save with thy right hand, and answer me.” (Psalm 108:2-6)

David committed to getting up early, and breaking out his harp and psaltery to sing God’s praise.  He would not only sing among his own people but reach out to other nations as well, because God’s mercy reached to all nations as well as the heavens.  His goal is that God would be admired and respected more than anything in the universe, and that the other nations might see how God cared for his people. 

“God hath spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth.  Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the strength of mine head; Judah is my lawgiver; Moab is my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe; over Philistia will I triumph.” (Psalm 108:7-9)

At various times, other countries such as Syria, the Amalekites, the Ammonites the Philistines and others had seized parts of Israel.  David felt blessed, that in his day they had possession of all the land from Gilead and Manasseh on the east of Jordan to the Philistine area along the Mediterranean coast, and from the northern border with Syria to the border with Egypt.  He already controlled the Moabites and expected Edom and the Philistines to capitulate soon, giving him control of the entire region.    

“Who will bring me into the strong city? who will lead me into Edom?  Wilt not thou, O God, who hast cast us off? and wilt not thou, O God, go forth with our hosts?” (Psalm 108:10-11)

The Edomites had been a free nation for six hundred years before David became king, and their capital was considered almost impregnable.  Several times, the  Edomites had conquered parts of Israel.   For David to conquer them would require God’s help, even though in the past he had allowed israel to be defeated.  David expected God to give that victory at the time.   
“Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man.  Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.” (Psalm 108:11-13)

He asks God’s help because he recognized the help of other nations would be worthless.  With God’s help, they would not need the help of others because it would be God winning the victory.  

Monday, September 12, 2016

Observe What God Does To Be Wise

Psalm 107:1-43

“O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” (Psalm 107:1)

The theme of this psalm is that men ought to praise the Lord because he is always merciful, willing to give another chance when people are willing to acknowledge and make an effort to correct their sin. 

“Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy; And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south.  They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in.  Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them.  Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.  And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! Ps 107:9 For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.” (Psalm 107:2-9)

God’s people ought to share how richly God has blessed them.  For four hundred years, Israel had been slaves in Egypt, abused and oppressed.  Ultimately there was an effort at genocide, with Pharaoh ordering that all male babies were to be killed, when efforts to work them to death failed.  Some had scattered into Libya, Ethiopia, Midian and Palestine in efforts to escape persecution, but were reunited under Moses leadership.  They spent forty years in the wilderness with no permanent home , living on Manna and the different waterholes they came to.  When they finally turned to the Lord, he brought them into the land of Canaan where he set out to bring them forty years before.   He had supplied everything they ever wanted.  They ought to praise the Lord for it.

“Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron; Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High: Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help.  Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses.  He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder.  Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!  For he hath broken the gates of brass, and cut the bars of iron in sunder.” Psalm 107:10-16)

Israel had gone into slavery repeatedly during the period of the Judges because they would not obey God’s law, and thought his laws were too strict or unfair.  God caused them to be taken as slaves and forced to work for their enemies, and no one tried to set them free.  When they sought the Lord’s help he set them free.  They ought to thank God for repeatedly rescuing them and destroying their enemies. 

“Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.  Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death.  Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses.  He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.  Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!  And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing. “ (Psalm 107:17-22)

Fools do not learn from their mistakes and keep doing the same things, with the result that the experience the same problems repeatedly.  They constantly complain no matter how much they have and keep doing the things that almost destroyed them before.   God responds even to the prayers of such people when they ask for help.  Thirteen times in the book of Judges alone, God answered Israel’s prayers and freed them from oppression by other nations, because his mercy endures forever.  They ought to be thankful God never gave up on them. 

“They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep.  For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.  They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.  They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit's end.  Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.  He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.  Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.  Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!  Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.” (Psalm 107:23-32)

Societies with am well developed infra structure are often unaware of how God’s power affects them.  They count on the government and infrastructure to Sailors, especially those in smaller ships, experience God’s power on an almost daily basis.   A storm can arise at any time, and directly affects what they do.  Huge waves raise them high in the air then bury them under a wall of water, threatening death at any moment.  They soon understand they have little or no control over what happens.  As a result they pray for God’s help, and he delivers them, so that they are no longer in fear.   Unfortunately many do not take the trouble to thank God when the danger is past.  How much better if they would share his blessings with others.

“He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the watersprings into dry ground; A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein.  He turneth the wilderness into a standing water, and dry ground into watersprings.  And there he maketh the hungry to dwell, that they may prepare a city for habitation; And sow the fields, and plant vineyards, which may yield fruits of increase.  He blesseth them also, so that they are multiplied greatly; and suffereth not their cattle to decrease.  Again, they are minished and brought low through oppression, affliction, and sorrow.  He poureth contempt upon princes, and causeth them to wander in the wilderness, where there is no way.  Yet setteth he the poor on high from affliction, and maketh him families like a flock.  The righteous shall see it, and rejoice: and all iniquity shall stop her mouth.” (Psalm 107:33-42)

People who live in cities take little notice of the things God does every day.  They notice if the river supplying water goes dry or the wells stop pumping, or crop failure causes them to be unable to obtain food as a result of their wickedness.   That same God turns a desert into a pond and causes springs and seeps in dry land so that the hungry people flock to the area to plant and harvest crops where nothing grew formerly.  Other times he causes them to go bankrupt or lose their land due to political manipulations.  People lose respect for their political and business leaders, because they seem to make decisions with as little sense of what they are doing as a child lost in the desert, with no path to follow.  At the same time people who are considered intellectually and financially inferior are not greatly affected by the problems of the wealthy and powerful. 

“Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the LORD.” (Psalm 107:43)

If a person is smart enough to look at what is going on, he can see how God blesses those who do right, and understand the value of serving God.  Foolish people ignore such things and blame problems on other things.  For example, they blame floods, droughts and weather extremes on Global warming resulting from burning fossil fuels, rather than on God’s power.