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Psalms of comfort and Sovereignty. Thinking of Duane Psalms 107, 101

June 17, 2018 Speaker: Jim Galli Series: Specials

Topic: Special Messages Passage: Psalm 107, Psalm 101

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No .pdf for this brief sharing time on the occasion of our church picnic and the body's concern for a seriously injured brother.

Psalm 107  Let the Redeemed of the LORD Say So

Friday, Kirk and I went down to Las Vegas to visit Duane.  That was a blessing to me, because if Kirk hadn't called and said he was going and invited me to come, chances are I might never get there.  I just don't go to Las Vegas on purpose.  

So thank you to Kirk for blessing me.  A comfortable car, air conditioning, and almost enough gas to get there.  We made it to Indian Springs on fumes, and $3.56 a gallon never looked so good.

I have been thinking about Duane and his injuries and predicament a lot, like all of you.  And praying often for him.  I'm thanking God for causing the calamity.  This was no accident from God's perspective.  

God has done this for Duane's good and His glory.  I'll let you chew on that for a minute.

No other group of people except Bible believing christians who know God intimately by His presence in us, and by His revealed word can calculate what happened to Duane and say, this is for Duane's good and God's glory.

And even us, with all the blessings of God at our disposal, it takes a month of dust settling to arrive there.  In the first desperate moments we aren't immediately settled on good, and glory.  We need time to think a bit.

Meanwhile, God in His grace and love has sustained Duane's very life and breath.  With all of the damage, there were people to help and equipment to sustain that life and breath until some stability again takes over.  That was no accident.

And immediately, and continuously, the prayers of God's people began to rise up to Him.  Also no accident.

My first visit, on Friday,  3 1/2 weeks in, found Dwayne looking very much just like Duane.  Physically he's doing well.  But the damage to his brain is going to be slower to recover.  

Everyone is very hopeful because we see little winks and nods that tell us the sweet intelligence is still there.  Everyone is hopeful.

Why did this happen?  Why does God allow, (we like the word allow since our minds can't do the math very well that God caused this for a great blessing, so we say allow).  Why did God allow this to happen to Duane.

I don't have any idea.  God doesn't reveal all of His secrets on the day something happens.  Here is what we do know without any question.  Oh! give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.

In C. S. Lewis classic book, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, Lucy and Susan are lost in a forest when they meet Mr. and Mrs. beaver.  They are told of Aslan, the great King who has just been seen, a rare occurance, he has been seen in their part of the forest.

Lucy asks, “Is — is he a man?”    “Aslan a man!” said Mr. Beaver sternly. “Certainly not. I tell you he is the King of the woods and the son of the great Emperor-beyond-the-Sea. Don’t you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion — the Lion, the great Lion.”

Then, of course, Susan and Lucy ask if this lion is safe — to which Beaver answers with his memorable line, “Who said anything about safe? ’Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

Psalm 107 is about the Sovereignty and Goodness of God who rescues His people in their times of trouble.  

      1Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good,
            For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

      2Let the redeemed of the LORD say so,
            Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary

      3And gathered from the lands,
            From the east and from the west,
            From the north and from the south.

      4They wandered in the wilderness in a desert region;
            They did not find a way to an inhabited city.

      5They were hungry and thirsty;
            Their soul fainted within them.

      6Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble;
            He delivered them out of their distresses.

      7He led them also by a straight way,
            To go to an inhabited city.

      8Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness,
            And for His wonders to the sons of men!

      9For He has satisfied the thirsty soul,
            And the hungry soul He has filled with what is good.

      10There were those who dwelt in darkness and in the shadow of         death,  Prisoners in misery and chains,

      11Because they had rebelled against the words of God
            And spurned the counsel of the Most High.

      12Therefore He humbled their heart with labor;
            They stumbled and there was none to help.

      13Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble;
            He saved them out of their distresses.

      14He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death
            And broke their bands apart.

      15Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness,
            And for His wonders to the sons of men!

      16For He has shattered gates of bronze
            And cut bars of iron asunder.

      17Fools, because of their rebellious way,
            And because of their iniquities, were afflicted.

      18Their soul abhorred all kinds of food,
            And they drew near to the gates of death.

      19Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble;
            He saved them out of their distresses.

      20He sent His word and healed them,
            And delivered them from their destructions.

      21Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness,
            And for His wonders to the sons of men!

      22Let them also offer sacrifices of thanksgiving,
            And tell of His works with joyful singing.

      23Those who go down to the sea in ships,
            Who do business on great waters;

      24They have seen the works of the LORD,
            And His wonders in the deep.

      25For He spoke and raised up a stormy wind,
            Which lifted up the waves of the sea.

      26They rose up to the heavens, they went down to the depths;
            Their soul melted away in their misery.

      27They reeled and staggered like a drunken man,
            And were at their wits’ end.

      28Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,
            And He brought them out of their distresses.

      29He caused the storm to be still,
            So that the waves of the sea were hushed.

      30Then they were glad because they were quiet,
            So He guided them to their desired haven.

      31Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness,
            And for His wonders to the sons of men!

      32Let them extol Him also in the congregation of the people,
            And praise Him at the seat of the elders.

      33He changes rivers into a wilderness
            And springs of water into a thirsty ground;

      34A fruitful land into a salt waste,
            Because of the wickedness of those who dwell in it.

      35He changes a wilderness into a pool of water
            And a dry land into springs of water;

      36And there He makes the hungry to dwell,
            So that they may establish an inhabited city,

      37And sow fields and plant vineyards,
            And gather a fruitful harvest.

      38Also He blesses them and they multiply greatly,
            And He does not let their cattle decrease.

      39When they are diminished and bowed down
            Through oppression, misery and sorrow,

      40He pours contempt upon princes
            And makes them wander in a pathless waste.

      41But He sets the needy securely on high away from affliction,
            And makes his families like a flock.

      42The upright see it and are glad;
            But all unrighteousness shuts its mouth.

      43Who is wise? Let him give heed to these things,
            And consider the lovingkindnesses of the LORD.

Duane was directing traffic when he was struck down.  And if you think about it, Duane is always directing traffic.  

In his home, at this church, and everywhere he goes, both professionally and privately, Duane directs traffic.  He is always pointing people to the place where they are safe.  Where they can thrive.

We didn't think he could do that any better than he was already doing.  But God is in this, and we are praying for a new and improved Duane, directing traffic with more God given grace than ever before.  We pray that he will be restored to us sooner than any doctor could have ever dreamed or guessed.  Keep praying for that.

Psalm 101 is more familiar to us.  It is a Praise for the LORD’S Mercies.

A Psalm of David.

      1Bless the LORD, O my soul,
            And all that is within me, bless His holy name.

      2Bless the LORD, O my soul,
            And forget none of His benefits;

      3Who pardons all your iniquities,
            Who heals all your diseases;

      4Who redeems your life from the pit,
            Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;

      5Who satisfies your years with good things,
            So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.

      6The LORD performs righteous deeds
            And judgments for all who are oppressed.

      7He made known His ways to Moses,
            His acts to the sons of Israel.

      8The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
            Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.

      9He will not always strive with us,
            Nor will He keep His anger forever.

      10He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
            Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

      11For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
            So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.

      12As far as the east is from the west,
            So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

      13Just as a father has compassion on his children,
            So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.

      14For He Himself knows our frame;
            He is mindful that we are but dust.

      15As for man, his days are like grass;
            As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.

      16When the wind has passed over it, it is no more,
            And its place acknowledges it no longer.

      17But the lovingkindness of the LORD is from everlasting to        everlasting on those who fear Him,
            And His righteousness to children’s children,

      18To those who keep His covenant
            And remember His precepts to do them.

      19The LORD has established His throne in the heavens,
            And His sovereignty rules over all.

      20Bless the LORD, you His angels,
            Mighty in strength, who perform His word,
            Obeying the voice of His word!

      21Bless the LORD, all you His hosts,
            You who serve Him, doing His will.

      22Bless the LORD, all you works of His,
            In all places of His dominion;
            Bless the LORD, O my soul!