Monday, January 03, 2005

The Lord our God is merciful,
and he is gracious
Long-suffering and slow to wrath,
in mercy plenteous.
He will not strive continually,
Nor keep his anger still.
With us he dealt not as we sinn'd
Nor did requite our ill.
From Psalm 103: 8-10, Psalms of David in Metre
The Lord God also in the heav'ns
did thunder in his ire;
And there the Highest gave his voice,
hailstones and coals of fire.
Yea, he his arrows sent abroad
and them he scattered;
His lightnings also he shot out,
and them discomfited.
The water's channels then were seen,
the world's foundations vast
At thy rebuke discover'd were,
and at thy nostrils' blast.
Psalm 18:13-15, Psalms of David in Metre
I haven't been able to write much of substance of the current catastrophic happenings in south east Asia. The tragedy is too large and too overwhelming for trivial comment, but it is one that has caused me to pause and ponder on the ways of God.
Can any doubt the power of God and the terrors of His judgement? Yesterday in church we sang Psalm 103 and I couldn't finish singing. Half way through it I was overcome by tears. The hand of the Lord has been heavy against those in Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and their neighbors. Why does He stay His hand against our nation? Dare we think ourselves more righteous when daily we mock His laws and make them of no effect? We are a Christian nation in name only and idolatry and perverse living leaves just leaves tidier and less visible carnage in its wake.
Some of the pictures of this tragedy are obscene. It is obscene to see so many of the image bearers of God, tossed like so much garbage amongst the wreckage, and yet so many will perish like cordwood in the flames that know no end some day. That is what our sin and rebellion calls for.
I don't ask why God has done this. I know why. I do ask why He has reserved mercy for me. That is what overcomes me.

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