affliction on our backs.
caused men to ride over our heads;
through fire and through water;
brought us out to rich fulfillment.”
jump into context for a moment before we get to the meat of the message.
hard hearing that God brought His people into the net (or prison) and laid
afflictions (hardships) on them. Men rode over their heads? Yikes!
waaaay back in Deuteronomy God clues His people in by giving them commands. In
fact, He warns them a billion times it seems not to leave Him to worship other
gods (false gods, idols i.e. anything you put before Him) and then He gave them
clear conditions of what would happen if they did.
those was allowing other nations to come in and take them captive–to net them
so to speak. Many died. But He promised, because He’s
faithful, to keep a remnant of people and that He would deliver them.
The whole point was to turn them back to Him. Away from things that they were
putting first and from ungodly practices.
Psalmist, here, is actually praising God for His wonderful works. Yes, fire and
water came. But yes! God delivered His people through and on the other side
came abundance. Rich fulfillment.
43:1-2 says,”O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for
I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will
be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When
you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames
will not consume you.”
many times. But you won’t be burned. You won’t drown.
take a look at an interesting tree.
Rocky Mountain Lodgepole. The lodgepole “produces serontinous cones which
do not open at maturity because they’re sealed shut by a resin between the cone
and the scale.” *taken from HERE*
trees require heat with temperatures between 113-140 degrees F to melt that
resin and release the seeds.
Jackpine, in Michigan, is similar to the Lodgepole. And there’s a bird called
the Kirtland Warbler, which is endangered, that loves to nest in them. So the
Department of Natural Resources actually light fires in these Jackpine
ecosystems so they can release seeds from their cones and thus produce more
trees, thus as more Warblers breed, they have a safe place to live.
“the annual census counted over 1000 singing males…” They can be
heard singing beautiful melodies up to half a mile.
I think we’re a lot like Lodgepole pines and Jackpines. We need the fire
cranked up to open us up, to produce seed in order to grow–to bear fruit.
the word and understands it,
who indeed bears fruit and
produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” Matthew 13:23
allow the fire to come, when God allows heated circumstances to develop us and
open us up for His glory, it will draw others to us and ultimately to Christ.
Like the Warblers. Flocking to us.
mustard seed in Matthew 13:31, which was a small seed but, when it grew, it
became a tree for birds of the air to nest in its branches. The body of Christ
is like that tree. A place for those to come and nest. Make their home.
Connect. Find comfort–the same comfort we were comforted with when we went
through the fire, when it opened us up and produced good fruit in our lives.
with each Warbler, a new song is sung.
put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our
God. Many people will see this and worship him. Then they will trust
the Lord.” Psalm 40:3
have to get through the fire first. And sometimes, it burns hot. Because that’s
what it takes for us to bloom and grow and produce for the Kingdom. For glory
of our King. And to bring in new birds, with new songs.
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