Have you ever noticed that trouble can prompt someone to turn to the Lord? Psalm 107 really addresses that.
There were those who dwelt in sorrow because of rebellion against the Lord. As they were in trouble, they cried out to Him and received his mercy.
Then there were those who were just fools. They weren’t trying to rebel, they just thought they knew what they were doing. But the path of fools inevitably leads to sorrow, so they cried out to the Lord.
Then there were those who arrogantly pursued their goals of money and fame. They found themselves in despair and turned to the Lord.
In every case, God heard their cries for help and He delivered them from their sorrow. God was faithful even when they weren’t.
Trouble does often make a person turn to God, but there’s a better way. The better way is not to be rebellious or a fool or someone just pursuing materialistic goals. The better way is to seek God from the time of your youth – and to never let up on seeking Him.
If you and I are wise, we learn from the mistakes of others and spend our lives basking in the lovingkindness of the Lord.
There are those who are hungry for Him, and He makes them to lie down in green pastures. He blesses them and they multiply greatly, and He does not let their cattle decrease.
“Who is wise, let Him give heed to these things.”(107:43).
I think I will!
I Corinthians 4
Paul has a few obstacles which come up over and over. There are always those who are trying to edge into the fellowship of believers and upset the apple cart. That’s what we have here.
Sometimes the ones who bring trouble are the Judaizers who want to being the Jewish law to the people. This time the trouble-makers are those who are trying to promote themselves as great teachers. They bring false doctrine and then they try to hold themselves in high esteem before the congregation. Usually these come against Paul’s teaching and try to usurp his authority as apostle.
Pride is the problem. These men think that they know more than Paul – even when they don’t. More than likely they are smoother talking and smoother in their demeanor. People can easily get swayed by smooth people.
Today that problem still exists. New believers and foolish people can get carried off into strange doctrine by such prideful people. When this happens, almost always the foolish ones are idolizing the teachers. And almost always the teachers are loving it.
Those who are truly representing God realize that He gets the glory. They are not trying to get people to follow them. They want people to follow God Himself.
All of us need to be mindful of these things. If we are being taught, we need to be sure that the message is true to the Word. If we are teachers we need to be checking our hearts so that we don’t get into pride. (Remember that’s the sin of Satan: pride).
Pure hearts make for a pure message – and only God gets the glory. After all, it’s all a gift from Him.