Sunday, February 19, 2012

Not Forgot

For the Poor

When Hagar found the bottle spent
And wept o'er Ishmael,
A message from the Lord was sent
To guide her to a well.

Should not Elijah's cake and cruse
Convince us at this day,
A gracious God will not refuse
Provisions by the way?

His saints and servants shall be fed,
The promise is secure;
"Bread shall be given them," as He said,
"their water shall be sure."

Repasts far richer they shall prove,
Than all earth's dainties are;
'Tis sweet to taste the Saviour's love,
Though in the meanest fare.

To Jesus then your trouble bring,
Nor murmur at your lot;
While you are poor and He is King,
You shall not be forgot.
-William Cowper
I will restore the fortunes of Israel, and rebuild then as they were at first.  I will cleasnse them from all the guilt of their sin and rebellion against me, and I will forgive all the guilt of their sin and rebellion against me.  And this city shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and a glory before all the nations of the earth who shall hear of all the good that I do for them.  They shall fear and tremble because of all the good all the prosperity I provide for it.  -Jeremiah

Cause for meditation line:
'Tis sweet to taste the Saviour's love,
Though in the meanest fare.
When God talks in Jeremiah about restoring Israel and rebuilding them, it is easy to skip over the part that Israel is in the state of ruin and race to thanksgivings of prosperity.
If we believe that God is Sovereign, the verbiage implies over everything - therefore-- the word cannot  be used in part without a qualifier; and we must concede that He is the one who oversees the ruin.
God does ordain, is with us in, and through the ruin, to work His holy will in and through us.   
I find it uncomfortable to discuss the ruins of life even with close ones. There is a falsehood embedded in my heart that whispers, "Why this struggle? It is a shameful and difficult thing. If I were better - God would deal blessings upon me instead of struggle."
Believing God's hand of provision is firmly planted in the adversities of life as well as in, the blessings, is a challenge that must be considered. When I look at the really stellar men of old, like Jonathan Edwards, or Martin Luther - their lives were riddled with what we would call ruin. We are so ordered these days, that we only think of good and prosperity as the end all - when many times the riches gifts are those that are gathered along the paths of difficulties and darkness. 
Edwards and Luther did not consider themselves above the trials of life -- so instead of asking "Why me?" should we not be asking, "Why not me?"


Trisha said...

Amen, my dear friend, and the poem by Cowper goes so well with our Pastor's sermon from yesterday.What comfort in the reminder that God will not, does not forget us. Much love to you, and by the way, I'd love to share salty fries and a frosty with you one day. :)

EJN said...

Trisha - that would be fun, love to meet you one of these days!

Diane said...

What an awesome poem (or song?)

Aren't we all just a piece of work for the Lord Jojo? The older I get the more liberating it is for me to realize just how fragile I am.

Between my own failures and circumstances beyond my control I can go from the heights of rejoicing to the depths of despair in about 27 seconds.

All the more reason to thank God that it is He who saves and keeps us.

Loved this post.