LESSONS FROM A GREAT NOVEL…Psalms 42 and 43

Hebrew manuscripts yoke together Psalms 42 and 43.  In both you hear the cry of the soul using much the same words.  Like ‘why?’– which we ask ourselves(and the Lord) time and again.  Maybe that’s on the tip of your tongue today?  ‘Why’?  Hear the Psalmist’s conclusion, from both psalms–‘Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God’.

We ask–how did he get to this point?  The place we all want to be.  Close to God, placing our hope and trust in Him.  How?

The key can be found in Psalm 43:3–‘Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me…’  What comes to mind?  I think of the Bible.  Guiding us through life’s perilous waters in a sinful sea.  Jesus, the light of the world, making paths clear.  He points the way, and then goes with us.

While vacationing in Charleston, South Carolina, invariably we’ll be touring Magnolia and Middleton Plantations.  Beautiful places, especially in the Spring, when the azaleas bloom.  Originally, both were profitable rice plantations until the Civil War.  I decided to read again Harriet Beecher Stowe’s ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’.  Can see why Abraham Lincoln said that this book ‘started this Great War’.

Uncle Tom, the slave hero, is a committed Christian under horrible circumstances.  Listen to him.  Here’s what the great novel says–

‘Is it strange then that some tears fall on the pages of his Bible, as he lays it on the cotton-bale, and, with patient finger, threading his slow way from word to word, traces out its promises?  Having learned late in life, Tom was but a slow reader, and passed on laboriously from verse to verse.  Fortunately for him was it that the book he was intent on was one which slow reading cannot injure– nay, one whose words, like ingots of gold, seem often to need to be weighed separately, that the mind may take in their priceless value.  Let us follow him a moment, as, pointing to each word, and pronouncing each half aloud, he reads, ‘Let–not–your–heart–be–troubled’.

God’s light, in His Word and His Son, will light the darkest places of life.

Prayer:  Lord, thank you for Jesus and the Bible.  All from you.  In His name.  Amen.

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