Continuing to use Psalm 66 for giving thanks to God in praise. The focus shifts from how the world should universally praise him, to the more specific way that his community of believers gives him praise.
“Used with permission from Microsoft.”
Those in the tribe of believers are called to adore him. The flock should obediently kneel in worship to him alone. Everything we enjoy in this life ultimately comes from him. Do you have a job that pays you a nice salary? You owe him for the intellect and health that makes that happen. Do you enjoy the fruits of the labor of your hands? Besides good health, thank him for the sources of life that make it possible. The atmosphere that people and plants need. The air we breathe and the water we need. It truly is a gift of grace that he established the chain of life we find in the natural world.
Often those gifts are taken for granted. God sees fit to put his people to the test. Not always as a reminder of his goodwill, but to refine us to become a more value creation. When a vegetable garden is harvested, there’s cutting, plucking, washing, peeling, and any number of other processes to extract food from its raw form to make it usable in the kitchen. In this passage, God’s community is compared to silver. There is a much more difficult process to extract silver from its ore. Repeated processes of heating and melting take place to remove impurities.
It takes time to finally remove the dross until the remaining silver reflects the face of its maker to him. The testing isn’t quite over as the bending, twisting, and fusing takes place to make yet another creation out of the silver. Beautiful jewelry, a vessel of utility, or any number of items of value.
It can feel like a setup. Like being led into a trap, like a burden is placed on us beyond what we can handle. . Life seems out of control, especially when others end up in charge of us. People who don’t love God or respect his ways. A proverbial baptism by water or even fire.
yet God will ultimately be victorious. Hardship leads his people to seek his saving grace.
His precious flock will be led to a place of abundance for his purposes, and at the time and place that gives him glory.
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