He let loose the east wind from the heavens
and by his power made the south wind blow.
He rained meat down on them like dust,
birds like sand on the seashore.
He made them come down inside their camp,
all around their tents.
Have you ever been trapped in a dust storm? Let me tell you that it is something unbelievable and suffocating. The air becomes unbreathable and visibility is virtually reduced to zero. The color of the sky turns red or ocher, a layer of sand is spread over every surface and there is no way to determine when the weather phenomenon will come to an end. Now imagine the same storm but this time instead of dust what falls to the ground are birds, not any kind of birds but tasty quail. Imagine also that the quail layer covering the surface has a thickness of about one meter (three feet), ie we would be flooded almost to the waist by a sea of birds. I am sure that if you find you in a similar situation the first thing that would cross your mind would be Gee, what good opportunity to stock up my kitchen with meat! And at no cost! I am also sure that you would not go long without starting to collect as much as possible of the feathered booty.
The scene described above came to pass to Israel when they were in the desert after having escaped miraculously and spectacularly from the clutches of the Egyptians. But what happened was not a fluke. There was a compelling reason in that the people complained bitterly that they had no meat to eat. So annoying was the complaint that a point was reached where Moses, the visible leader of this great escape asked God to take his life. God responded by sending them plenty of meat which the Israelites gathered eagerly to later receive a strong discipline from the Lord as a consequence of the greed of the rebel nation. Let’s be careful of what we wish and never complain about anything that we believe we need. If what we believe we need is really necessary, God will provide in abundance according to his grace and mercy. If what we think we need is just a trivial wish we could be exposed to a severe discipline from the Lord. Let us learn to live with contentment so we do not fall into the trap of consumerism and excess. To God alone be the glory!
Who has gone up to heaven and come down?
Whose hands have gathered up the wind?
Who has wrapped up the waters in a cloak?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is his name, and what is the name of his son?
Surely you know!
We all love heroes. Whether mythical heroes such as Gilgamesh, Hercules, Odysseus, Achilles, Perseus, Sir Galahad, Aeneas, Roland, El Cid, William Tell, Robin Hood, Batman, Superman or Rambo or historical such as King David, Samson, Leonidas, Charles Martell, William Wallace, Simon Bolivar, the Pola, Luisa Cáceres de Arismendi, Pancho Villa, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Jim Elliot we all feel admiration for these characters that have inspired many to carry out further acts of heroism or write narratives of courage in times of difficulty. At all times, different cultures have relied on these mythical and real stories to unite the crowds in search of an ideal. However, with all the appreciation we feel for these champions, none of them approaches, even remotely, the glory of the Creator of the universe and Author of salvation.
This does not mean we’re going to stop reading the books (or e-readers and tablets) or stop watching movies that show us the exploits of these champions. Nor does it mean that we will fail to be inspired with their stories. There is nothing wrong with cultivating good literature and knowledge. What we must not neglect is the daily search for wisdom, discernment and knowledge of the holy God. If we ask the questions that Agur, son of Jakeh asked and try to find the answer to them we will go on track to attain the wisdom that comes from above. Before the glory of God the exploits of the heroes mill take a distant second place. To God alone be the glory!
Like clouds and wind without rain
is one who boasts of gifts never given.
This year has been marked by unusual weather. While in some places they have seen the worst floods they can remember elsewhere there has been a drought without precedent in the history of weather data collection. Most affected are those who make a livelihood by farming. They would immediately understand today’s verse in light of their painful experiences with the weather. When the sky fills with clouds and the hopes for rain grow in the hearts of those who eagerly await there is nothing that causes more disappointment than to see how the wind carries the clouds to another location before they are relieved of their precious cargo . Likewise, these clouds full of false promises resemble those that boast of how generous and detached they are, although they never give anything to anyone because of their selfishness and stinginess.
Sometimes the failure to keep promises is due to the strong but short enthusiasm with which some of us face the challenges and tasks at hand. If our temperament is like the apostle Peter’s, sanguine, it is very likely that we are always impulsive and restless with everything we have to do to a short time to later fail in the fulfillment of what we intended to accomplish. This would not bring serious consequences if we were the only ones affected by the breach. When our informality affects others, they and our testimony are impacted negatively, something that probably we are not wanting to happen. If we know what are the trends of our dominant temperament let us pause and consider before promising anything. Be that our weakness is manifested by arrogance or personal style, we must be careful to always present a good testimony before others. Let us be transformed by the power of God working in our lives. To God alone be the glory!
When the Almighty scattered the kings in the land,
it was like snow fallen on Mount Zalmon.
When in the high mountains the temperature drops, the snow does not fall as in the idyllic images of the Christmas cards of the Nordic countries, whose illustrations often show a house in the woods with soft snowflakes falling vertically and very organized as in slow motion. Up in the mountains something very different usually happens; the snow falls but wind gusts disorderly move the snowflakes in any direction as they please. This chaos of snow-laden stormy winds frantically dancing everywhere and in every direction is a good picture of what is going to happen when the King of kings and Lord of lords returns to reign over the whole earth. Kings and rulers will see how their way of life ─oppression and abuse of people for personal gain─ will cease to be and they will have no place to run to escape the wrath and demand for justice that for years they have accumulated over their shoulders.
In view of so much injustice, death and destruction that the tyrannical rulers have inflicted upon their own people, the only resource we have left is hope. We crave for that moment where all justice will prevail and all rebellion and disobedience will disappear. “Peace, justice and joy” will be the motto of this new stage of creation where all people will finally enjoy a perfect government and true prosperity. As we wait for that time to come, let us prepare ourselves to serve the Lord in the area and with the skills that the Holy Spirit has given us. As faithful and wise servants, let us work with vigor until our beloved Lord returns and He finds us involved with His affairs. There, we will see his glory incomparable bring a new dawn. To God alone be the glory!
Posted in Psalms
Tagged Almighty, government, judgement, justice, king, love, mountains, peace, Psalms, snow, wind