Have you ever noticed how God has a way of getting a point across in the Bible? Sometimes, it's almost comical how He beats people over the head in order to get their attention or to make a point. (I have also been the recipient of that head-beating, and it's not so comical then.) Anyway, in my Bible reading, I found another occasion where God was trying to make a point. Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! Psalm 107: 8, 15, 21, 31.
Did you catch that? Those four verses read exactly the same. God put the same sentence in this one psalm four times. Why? Could it be that He wanted to make sure we didn't miss it. After all, it's a very important verse. Through this passage, the psalmist is talking about how God provided for the children of Israel and delivered them from Egypt. Yet, they were not happy. They complained of hunger, thirst, fatigue, obstacles. You name it, they complained about it.
So, the story is being told. They complained, and God said, "Oh that men would praise the Lord." They rebelled, and God said, "Oh that men would praise the Lord." They cried, and God said, "Oh that men would praise the Lord." They worshiped idols, and God said, "Oh that men would praise the Lord." Do we get the point?
The Israelites were so wrapped up in their complaints and criticism that they ignored or forgot (I often wonder which) all the things that God did for them. He fed them with manna and quail. He gave them water from the rock. He delivered them from captivity. Their clothes never wore out. He continuously forgave them for their bickering and sinful acts. But, do they appreciate it? No, they complain!
Now, before we get too hard on the children of Israel, aren't we often the same way? When tragedy or hardships come, don't we often fret and forget how God delivered us in the past? We focus on our problems instead of on the Solution. We complain about our current state and wonder why life is so unfair?
This psalm is an excellent reminder to all of us that no matter what we face, good or bad, we need to praise the Lord. He has been good, and He has done wonderful works. Shame on us for overlooking that!
Whatever you're facing today, put aside the complaints and murmurs, and instead praise the Lord for all that He's done. After that, the problem may not look so bad anymore.
Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!