Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Was there snow in Israel?

A feather light blanket of snow covers the trees -- skiing weather, not snowball or sledding weather, because the temperature hovers at freezing -- and our street is a lacy archway of trees. God "gives snow like wool," I read in today's devotional, Psalm 147, "and scatters frost like ashes."

Wait a minute, was there really snow in Israel? I didn't think so, but I guess there must have been.

Anyway, this psalm has much wisdom and comfort, as in verse 13, "For he strengthens the bars of your gates, he blesses your children within you." What a nice verse for a pregnant mother. And verse 3, "He heals the broken-hearted, and binds up their wounds."

And then the comeuppance: "His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the speed of a runner, but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love" (verses 10 and 11). Keeping in mind that racing was probably an important part of social status in the psalmist's world (remember the Ben Hur race), does this mean we shouldn't take pride in what we do?

I don't think that's the main point here, though elsewhere we learn that we should not work for boasting's sake.

The point seems to be a reaffirmation of God's covenant with his people. The psalm ends, verses 19 and 20, "He declares his word to Jacob, his statutes and ordinances to Israel. He has not dealt thus with any other nation, they do not know his ordinances. Praise the Lord!"

So in all these areas -- pregnancy, sorrow, weather, harvest -- all the areas mentioned in the psalm, God is taking care of us.

Even, I found out this morning, with computer problems. Inexplicably my display screen had turned 90 degrees to the left. How? why? I don't know. But I am very pleased with myself that I managed to work through the help screens and restore the computer to its previous setting. A little bit of boasting is in order here, right? But mostly I'm grateful that I didn't panic. "How good it is to sing praises to our God: for he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting."

No comments: