Dave’s Devo: Dire Straits
I had hooked at least fifteen trout early in the morning on the East Rosebud Lake. My daughter, Jenae, had never hooked one in her life. So I took her fishing in the next prime time, a little before sunset. We paddled the canoe to every spot that was lucky that morning. Not one strike. At the end the lake the water poured down the mountain into the stream that would eventually become the Stillwater, then the Yellowstone. The current strengthened, but I held the canoe against the current. "Jenae, cast over there by that debris" (we had given up on her fly fishing and reverted back to a casting rod and a good lure). I held the canoe steady and she put her lure close to a log, the perfect spot. Of course, I couldn't hold it. The bow of the canoe got snatched by the current. It rushed for the debris, got caught, and capsized. All the equipment swept downstream, and Jenae and I were stuck in the middle, standing on small logs trying to free a canoe that had instantly filled with water. No way! We were in hopeless, dire straits.
Psalm 106 ends with the Israelites in dire straits, totally unable to rescue themselves from their Babylonian Captivity. They cried for help and lets’ see how the Lord responded:
“And He saw them in their dire straits, and He heard their loud cry. He remembered His sacred covenant. He relented of His anger against them because of the abundance of His gracious loyal love. He caused their captors to show them mercy. ‘Save us, Yahweh, our God!’ They cried, ‘Gather us from the nations so that we can praise your Holy Name and pride ourselves in your praise!
Blessed is Yahweh, the God of Israel for ever and ever. And all the people say, Amen! Hallelujah!’” (Psalm 106:44-48)
In 539 BC God did hear the cries of Israel and Cyrus, the Persian conqueror of the Babylonians, let them go home. In 1948 after Auschwitz, God heard their cries again. Israel became a nation for the first time since the first century, and we have witnessed the return of the physical sons and daughters of Abraham to their land. The Lord keeps His covenant promises. If we are united with His Son, He will keep His New Covenant with us. In dire straits He will hear our cries.
Meanwhile back in the river. While Jenae and I futilely tried to right the canoe and save ourselves a big Montana guy showed up on shore. “Need some help?” He waded out, grabbed the canoe, and tipped it enough to drain out the water. He hoisted his end high and we waded safely in the current to shore. Jenae and I poured thanks on him, but he shrugged and quietly walked away.
Lord, thank you that Jenae and I were not hurt when we spilled into the river. Thank you for the guy who showed up to help. Many years later I praise you today that Jenae and her husband are now in fulltime ministry. Mary and I praise you for how you transitioned us from a senior pastor position with Midlothian Bible Church to fulltime with Truth Encounter and teaching at Southern Bible and Dallas Seminary. Thanks for being such an awesome Heavenly Father. Thanks that you are strong enough to lift us out of any dire straits.
P.S. I told you a couple of days ago I would share my thoughts about God not allowing Moses to enter the Promised Land because He lost it, got angry, and struck the rock, instead of speaking to it. In the New Testament we learn that the rock symbolized Jesus (1 Corinthians 10:4) and Jesus was only struck once, a major point in Hebrews chapter 9. On the other hand, God is merciful. Take a look at who is comforting Jesus as they discussed His up-coming death on the Mount of Transfiguration? (Matthew 17:2-3) Guess what country this mountain is in? We can trust the Lord to eventually express His merciful, loyal love to us.
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