Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Today's assigned Psalm is 107:1-9:
1 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!
2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
whom he has redeemed from trouble
3 and gathered in from the lands,
from the east and from the west,from the north and from the south.
4 Some wandered in desert wastes,
finding no way to a city to dwell in;
5 hungry and thirsty,
their soul fainted within them.
6 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
7 He led them by a straight way
till they reached a city to dwell in.
8 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
for his wondrous works to the children of man!
9 For he satisfies the longing soul,
and the hungry soul he fills with good things.
With GPS systems, googlemaps, mapquest, or a host of other mapping aids, getting lost is not such a common occurrence as it once was. And even if you do happen to find yourself in a new and strange place, chances are you will be able to pick up your cell phone and call somebody to help.
After being dispersed (exiled) to Assyria and Babylon, the Children of Israel were scattered throughout the desert, searching again for a land to call their own (v. 4). They didn't pick up cell phones, but they did call out to somebody who could help--Almighty God. Verse 7 says that "He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle." He heard their call and answered their prayer, providing them safe travel to their destination.
Like I said, getting lost while driving isn't such a common, every day, occurrence, but you and I may find ourselves searching throughout life. Maybe we are considering a difficult decision and haven't been able to discern which choice is better. Maybe we have simply been 'spinning our wheels' and don't seem to be making any progress toward our goals in life. So what are we to do?
It's really quite simple. Verse 9 says "For he satisfies the longing soul,
and the hungry soul he fills with good things." The real question is this: what are you longing for? What are you thirsty for? Matthew 6:33 says, 'seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."
Luther's meaning to the 1st Commandments hits the nail on the head: "We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things." Trusting in God to provide whatever I need means that I won't fear the outcome when I face a difficult decision or struggle to meet "my" goals. In fact, maybe my goals need to become more like His goals.
I'm not saying that your faithfulness is the reason that God gives good gifts. In fact, He gives good gifts to all people without our prayers, even to all evil people (4th Petition of the Lord's Prayer). But as we call out to God, and trust in Him for everything we need, our goals become godly ones, and the kingdom we end up seeking is the one He wants to give us.
Indeed, God will always hear our prayers, and like He did for the Children of Israel scattered throughout the desert, he will answer them, and lead us home. If it were not so, He would have told us so.
Being led home. Amen.