Night Whispers - November 5

Night Whispers Devotional

November 5th

Dream word – GOOD

>Psalms 107:25-32

“For He commands and raises the stormy wind, Which lifts up the waves of the sea. They mount up to the heavens, They go down again to the depths; Their soul melts because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, And are at their wits' end. Then they cry out to the Lord in their trouble, And He brings them out of their distresses. He calms the storm, So that its waves are still. Then they are glad because they are quiet; So He guides them to their desired haven. Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! Let them exalt Him also in the assembly of the people, And praise Him in the company of the elders.” - (Psalms 107:25-32 NKJV)

How to get high!

Standing on the warm beach and looking at the deep blue ocean lapping against the distant horizon and splashing up against the far stretched clouds sinking with the setting sun, the sea looks beautiful and inviting, even an all enfolding loveliness. On the land, looking out that that immeasurable coldness, you still feel warm, secure, steady, rock like, safe. Now climb aboard a small yacht and set sail for a day or two into that vast deep blue and its vastness becomes seemingly infinite, seemingly never ending, eternal, dangerous, deep, sucking, scary, and I tell you, there as a small bobbing speck in the middle of that desert of blue water, you feel anything but safe. When a storm comes up across the bay of Biscay and stirs the deep beneath into a leaping hunter, a force nine howler, the insignificance of your little self against the roaring of so great a watery and all-consuming lion makes you feel less than nothing, an angry voice maybe, but never less, simply a small dot of dust, trodden on by gigantic actors who are fighting hot, living violently and screaming their way into a fiery death upon a vast eternal stage,  each one playing out a story of cosmic and multidimensional proportions, to which you seem to be as less an insignificant worm. In the same way, I tell you that the more I read the Bible, the more days I set out to sea upon this deep and never ending story of God, this narrative, this journey, this revelation of the Most High, these players, these decisions, the whole kit and caboodle of it all become to me nothing short of terrifying! For the Bible, the very Word of God is the most troubling book that has ever been written. If you disagree with me here, then friend, I do not think you have even begun to read it.

It was writer Frank Cottrell Boyce who wrote the screenplay for the BBC’s television Drama, God on Trial.May I say that it is a quite brilliant and terrifying performance piece, for the screen play wrestles with the deep question we all have on our hearts, which is “Why do bad things happen to good people?” Or better still, “How can a good God allow so much suffering in the world?” The 90-minute play has the unpacking of these questions take place amongst a group of inmates in Auschwitz, just hours before half of them shall be murdered. Cottrell himself confesses that his seemingly invulnerable Catholic faith was beaten black and blue as he wrote the screenplay. The fact of prisoners in Auschwitz concentration camp actually putting God on trial is rooted in an apocryphal story from WWII to which the Auswitch survivor and writer, Elie Weisel gives some credence to when he made his statement that “God was hanged on the gallows in Auschwitz.” In the play God On Trialthe closing statement made by the prosecutor is that, “God is not good, He is just powerful. Once upon a time He was on our side and now He is on the side of the Nazis. God is not good, He is simply all powerful. God is guilty of breaking His covenant with us.” God is then pronounced guilty of the charge.

The narrative and supposition of Cottrell’s screenplay can be Biblically contested at every God-damning point but that is not the point. The point is that on this great sea of History which we find ourselves floating upon, the storms of our own life stir up the dregs of our days and from that sin matted mud, the festering odour of the foul stench of that constant and unremitting theme exuded daily from it, always runs gangrene-like along the ground proclaiming to one and all and to the delight of the devil himself especially, that “God is not good!” The truth is that as individuals and communities, as nations and now even as continents and soon, maybe sooner than we dare to think, the whole world has put God on trial and found Him guilty, so much so that we all together now in our hearts, sing in condemning proclamation like some great accusing choir concerning both God’s seeming failings and His dreadful lack of goodness. The old lie, you see, never dies. Not really. The old lie that God is not good.

Let me say that I have no doubt that if I had been in Auschwitz I would have put God on trial and found Him guilty. Good grief, I have done it often enough in comparative kind kindergarten picnics when compared to that most terrible place. How about you? Even so, whether in the terrors of Auschwitz or the comforts of Ipswich, this most sinful of singing, just has to stop. For God is good!

My friends, if we dare, we need to truly get to grips with the meta-narrative of this great redemptive story and more so, we need to see the true states of our God condemning heart. We need to wake up to the old lie whispered by the devil since Eden’s paradise was lost which is even today embedded in our genes. We need to grow up regarding this. Be honest with ourselves, get real.  For the old lie has robbed us of so much hope and faith and joy. Yes, we need to set our bow of faith toward the great horizon of His all consuming love and with the courage of belief, set sail across the turbulent deeps of all life’s waiting blues. For sure, this is a terrifying journey across wild seas of temptations and the deepest oceans of doubt, but I tell you that it is a journey  into a God that we shall indeed find not only to be so very powerful but also to be so very wonderfully good.  Stop believing the old lie. Stop the sinning song, by both inwardly condemning the lie and outwardly proclaiming His goodness through living in expectant joy. I mean Have a blast today! Laugh wildly whenever you can! Enjoy life to the full for God is good!

Listen: “Those who go down to the sea in ships, who do business on great waters, They see the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep.” - (Psalms 107:23-24 NKJV)

Pray: 

Lord, let Your glory fall, as on an ancient day.
Songs of enduring love, and then Your glory came.
And as a sign to You, that we will love the same,
Our hearts will sing that song, as we pray!
God, let Your glory come!

You are good, You are good, and Your love endures.
You are good, You are good, and Your love endures.
You are good, You are good, and Your love endures today.

Voices in unison, giving You thanks and praise,
Joined by the instruments, and then Your glory came.
Your presence like a cloud, upon that ancient day,
The priests were overwhelmed, all because, because Your glory came!

You are good, You are good, and Your love endures.
You are good, You are good, and Your love endures.
You are good! You are good, and Your love endures today.

A sacrifice was made, and then Your fire came.
They knelt upon the ground, and with one voice they prayed,
And they sang as we sing today, That,
You are good, You are good, and Your love endures.
You are good, You are good, and Your love endures.
You are good, You are good, and Your love endures today.

(Lord Let Your Glory Fall – by Matt Redman)

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