Friday, October 23, 2009

A String of Selah Pearls - Psalm 60:3-4

Positioned gracefully across the Book of Psalms is a string of seventy-one pearls, lovely beads of wisdom followed by the admonition SELAH which means, “Pause, think on these things, meditate.” 

Psalm 60:3-4 “You have shown your people desperate times; you have given us wine that makes us stagger. But for those who fear you, you have raised a banner to be unfurled against the bow.  Selah.”


Why would a loving God who has openly identified himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob treat his people this way—showing them desperate times, giving them wine that made them stagger?  Why?

One of my favorite Bible passages is Psalm 107.  It begins with, “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.”  But then it goes on to detail how this God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob allowed his rebellious people to suffer until they turned back to him.  Over and over again.  The psalm ends with, “Whoever is wise, let him heed these things and consider the great love of the LORD.”

Although certainly not all suffering indicates rebellion, Psalm 107 suggests that God, in his loving kindness, made life miserable for Hebrew prodigals so that they would return to the safety of his loving arms?

Remember this the next time someone asks you, “How can you believe in a God that allows suffering?”  It is precisely because of his protective love that he sometimes allows suffering.  The hot iron certainly gets our attention.

Look up: Psalm 107:1-43

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