These verses from Psalm 65 fit perfectly with part of Carrie’s sermon this morning (July 26th) for those of you who got to see/hear it. Part of it was about how perfect God’s plan is and how He thought out all of the tiny details. Her example was how fire ants are able to build a living bridge of ants to cross a moving stream, and how they work together to make that happen. As I was listening to that part of the message, it made me think of another scientific fact that I find amazing and demonstrates God’s perfect creation. Do you know that total solar eclipses are unique only to Earth? No other planet in the solar system has eclipses like us. The reason? Because the ratio of the size difference between the moon and sun is almost identical to the ratio of the difference in distance between the Earth and moon and the Earth and the sun. The sun is about 400 times bigger than the moon, and it is about 400 times further away from the Earth than the moon. So when they cross paths we get a total eclipse. And I think this psalm message is saying the same thing. That God is the master architect that created everything good. Perfect in fact.
Jacob really wanted to get out on his own after serving his due time to Laban, and after the birth of Joseph. Sweet freedom. I imagine the feeling of freedom that Jacob was hoping to feel might be like when I finally get my student loans or my mortgage paid off. My debts cleared. But Laban realizes what has happened to his wealth under Jacob’s time served and he’s thinking “wait a minute, I’m not ready for you to go yet.” Laban knows that with the departure of Jacob will probably also involve the departure of some of (or much of) his wealth not having someone around who is so good at what they do. Jacob makes a final deal with Laban that is accepted. As I read up on this a bit, I found that Laban was most likely was sure that once the few speckled sheep were removed from the flock, the likelihood of the flock producing any more speckled sheep would be unlikely, and therefore he would keep Jacob for much longer. Laban was thinking selfishly, but Jacob was trusting in God’s plan. Reading the rest of Chapter 30 you will find that Jacob was able to produce a large flock of strong animals for his own herds of speckled sheep.
If ever there was a passage that is needed in 2020, it is these verses from James. Wherever you have envy and selfish ambition you will find disorder and evil practice. If you look around or follow anything on the news or social media, you can pretty much sum up almost all of our nation’s issues as being the result of envy and selfish ambition. The number one thing people seem to be most concerned about is themselves and getting what they want. The phrase I use at home all the time with my kids is the old Burger King slogan “Your way, right away.” Everyone wants what they want when they want it…and they want it yesterday. “17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” The last two verses also fit perfectly with today’s sermon message. As a church, as Christians, we should be striving for peace; being considerate; submissive (meekly obedient and passive), which is not easy to be; full of mercy, which is also not easy; impartial, which is seemingly impossible in our very divisive political climate; and sincere.
God’s plan is perfect in every way, and we are flawed. We need Him to guide us. We need to trust that he has control, like Jacob trusted God to provide for his family. We need to work hard every day to try to be all of those attributes in the last two verses of the James reading for today. As Christians, we can’t just hide behind our Bibles and fish magnets on the back of our cars as proof that we are part of God’s chosen people. We need to live out the life that we have been called to live, as demonstrated perfectly by Jesus. As the old saying goes and as I have blogged about numerous times, actions speak louder than words.