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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

PSALM 116



"I love the Lord because..."

How would you fill in this phrase?  If one needs to recite one line of poetry, perhaps the most well-known is "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways."   When our son was four, he was overwhelmed with love in his heart for us.  He said, "I love you more than gold fish!"  Umm, okay then.  Sometimes our expressions of love aren't much better.  But, today we'll look at only one response the psalmist gives though there are a zillion different ways we could have offered.  

"I love the Lord, because He hears
My voice and my supplications.
Because He has inclined His ear to me,
Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live."
(verses 1-2)




This gives a vivid picture of the tender heart God has for His children.  He leans down low to hear.  That gives us value.  That gives us importance.  That gives us significance.  This makes us feel cherished.  That shows us the Father-love God has for us.  The writer goes on to say that because God hears, he will continue to call upon Him his whole life long.  The sheep know the voice of the shepherd, but the shepherd knows the voice of his sheep.



Our community is reeling this morning of a news report of the opposite kind of father, the drunken kind who flipped his vehicle with four children in it, all  unrestrained in their seats and who were ejected out of the car and thrown all over the roadway.  The father left his severely injured wife and had to step over at least some of his terribly injured bleeding children to flee the scene. Someone else picked him up so he could run away from his children's pleas for help from their daddy.  The first responders had to do the comforting as well as treatment as the little ones called out.  My son-in-law was one of them to answer their call.  Their father did not.  He left. 



It makes me think of the wounds my father had from his upbringing by a drunken father who wove inebriated from one ditch to the other with his family in the car.  Of course they were all unrestrained back in the day.  Only God kept them alive.  If their dad did not threaten their lives that way, he once told them he would stab them all to death in their sleep, or another time he lined them up on the front porch threatening to shoot them all while a deputy snuck up from behind and disarmed him.  My father searched for significance his whole life because he did not receive it from his earthly father.  Only God can truly give us that kind of significance.  He hears.  He sees.  He knows.



Has He heard your voice today?




Okay, we've talked about the good Dad and the bad dad.  How about you, dad?  I don't think bad dad got up and thought in the morning, I'm going to severely injure my wife and children today.  No, though he was only 26, he had an alcohol problem.  It started with that social beer.  Hey dad, with the social beer in your hand, you do realize that your children will imitate you and will also have one in their hand as well.  What if they, unlike you Mr.-Social-Drinker-Who-Can-Handle- it, what if they can't.  What if your social drinker offspring became more of an alcoholic after that one drink and at 26 turned into a zero instead of a hero.  Are you man enough to set a godly example, not serving your I-want-to-be-accepted-by-the-beer-drinking or wine-drinking crowd that is ever growing in our churches today.  Oh, you don't drink socially, just want one to unwind at home?  That's a bad sign, and it's worse than I thought.  Man-up and don't be self-serving.  And, oh, yeah, my husband works in Teen Challenge with the down and outers as well as the sons from nice homes who fell into the trap of alcohol, from professional ball players to the ones who used to sit by their daddies in the pew..  Don't take my word for it, my words are just opinions, but bravely ask God what His will for your life and legacy should be. 

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