Loving Kindness by Gary Rose

This cute little rodent is enjoying the fragrance of a flower. This was one of several pictures, but I liked this one the best because the little fella has his eyes closed while inhaling that wonderful smell. I wonder, do we spend time appreciating what God has given us? Beginning with the natural world around us, to our daily blessings of health, wealth, and just being alive, do we consider his loving kindness (or mercy)? Some of you will probably remember yesterday’s post, where I mentioned that sometimes the Bible writers repeat things several times to emphasize things of extra special importance. Well, we have another instance of this, done four times in a single passage; this time it is in a Psalm. For convenience I have emboldened those verses...

Psalm 107 ( World English Bible )
  1 Give thanks to Yahweh, for he is good,
for his loving kindness endures forever.
2 Let the redeemed by Yahweh say so,
whom he has redeemed from the hand of the adversary,
3 And gathered out of the lands,
from the east and from the west,
from the north and from the south.
4 They wandered in the wilderness in a desert way.
They found no city to live in.
5 Hungry and thirsty,
their soul fainted in them.
6 Then they cried to Yahweh in their trouble,
and he delivered them out of their distresses.
7 He led them also by a straight way,
that they might go to a city to live in.
8 Let them praise Yahweh for his loving kindness,
for his wonderful deeds to the children of men!
9 For he satisfies the longing soul.
He fills the hungry soul with good.
10 Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death,
being bound in affliction and iron,
11 Because they rebelled against the words of God,
and condemned the counsel of the Most High.
12 Therefore he brought down their heart with labor.
They fell down, and there was no one to help.
13 Then they cried to Yahweh in their trouble,
and he saved them out of their distresses.
14 He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death,
and broke away their chains.
 15 Let them praise Yahweh for his loving kindness,
for his wonderful deeds to the children of men!
16 For he has broken the gates of bronze,
and cut through bars of iron.
17 Fools are afflicted because of their disobedience,
and because of their iniquities.
18 Their soul abhors all kinds of food.
They draw near to the gates of death.
19 Then they cry to Yahweh in their trouble,
and he saves them out of their distresses.
20 He sends his word, and heals them,
and delivers them from their graves.
  21 Let them praise Yahweh for his loving kindness,
for his wonderful deeds to the children of men!
22 Let them offer the sacrifices of thanksgiving,
and declare his deeds with singing.
23 Those who go down to the sea in ships,
who do business in great waters,
24 these see Yahweh’s deeds,
and his wonders in the deep.
25 For he commands, and raises the stormy wind,
which lifts up its waves.
26 They mount up to the sky; they go down again to the depths.
Their soul melts away because of trouble.
27 They reel back and forth, and stagger like a drunken man,
and are at their wits’ end.
28 Then they cry to Yahweh in their trouble,
and he brings them out of their distress.
29 He makes the storm a calm,
so that its waves are still.
30 Then they are glad because it is calm,
so he brings them to their desired haven.
 31 Let them praise Yahweh for his loving kindness,
for his wonderful deeds for the children of men! 

32 Let them exalt him also in the assembly of the people,
and praise him in the seat of the elders.
33 He turns rivers into a desert,
water springs into a thirsty ground,
34 and a fruitful land into a salt waste,
for the wickedness of those who dwell in it.
35 He turns a desert into a pool of water,
and a dry land into water springs.
36 There he makes the hungry live,
that they may prepare a city to live in,
37 sow fields, plant vineyards,
and reap the fruits of increase.
38 He blesses them also, so that they are multiplied greatly.
He doesn’t allow their livestock to decrease.
39 Again, they are diminished and bowed down
through oppression, trouble, and sorrow.
40 He pours contempt on princes,
and causes them to wander in a trackless waste.
41 Yet he lifts the needy out of their affliction,
and increases their families like a flock.
42 The upright will see it, and be glad.
All the wicked will shut their mouths.
43 Whoever is wise will pay attention to these things.
They will consider the loving kindnesses of Yahweh. 

God’s loving kindness, how marvelous it is! 

This Psalm seems to follow a pattern to me and here it is:

1. God’s loving kindness towards the nation of Israel.   1-7
2. God’s loving kindness towards the repentant.            8-14
3. God’s loving kindness towards the foolish.                15-20
4. God’s loving kindness revealed in nature.                  21-30
5. God’s loving kindness changes things for the good.   31-41

The wise man will take the time to consider God’s loving kindness (vs. 43) and give thanks for all the HE has done towards us (vs. 1). 

One last thought:
The next time you smell a flower or experience the glory of nature in any manner, think of God’s loving kindness towards you. I guarantee that it will make your whole day seem better!