WHAT A CONTRAST! Read Judges 21 and Psalm 46

These were 2 of my Old Testament readings for my quiet time today.  Wow–what a contrast indeed.  Like the weather we had yesterday and today here at the New Jersey shore.  Fierce winds and pelting rain with flooding  yesterday leading to blue skies, no wind and lots of sun and surf for today!  What a contrast indeed!  Back to the Bible–when I finished reading both chapters, I couldn’t help but think of the contrast between heaven and hell.  Psalm 46 is so reassuring, so helpful and beautiful; while, Judges 21 is just all hell breaking loose on earth, and among God’s people(maybe they are His people, possibly not, doesn’t seem like it to me, but then again I’ve seen the best and worst of God’s people and sometimes I hate to admit it,  the enemy  is me!).  What a contrast indeed!  Psalm 46–where God is our refuge and strength, our helper who removes our fears from us even when and especially when everything is falling apart all around us.  God is all this… and lots more.   It’s not me, but it’s Him.  He’s like the river that Jerusalem never had.  Yes, a major spring runs through the city even today, but unlike almost all major ancient cities,there was  no river.  But now there is one, and it’s the Lord Himself.  God is there, there’s now no fear, no failure and no falling.  Those of us who’ve been to Jerusalem know how steep the streets are and how slippery they become with the slightest of moisture.  Easy to lose your balance and fall crashing down on a very hard stone surface.  Not in heaven with God–no falling there.  Not ever.  Not with Him right there next to us, holding real tight to both our hands.  Verse 10 of Psalm 46 says it all–‘Be still and know that I am God…”  ‘Be still’ in the original language means to put your hands at your side.  Take a defenseless posture.  Nothing to fear or raise your arms to protect yourself from.  Why?  Because God will be our ‘refuge and strength’…’our fortress’.  That will be heaven…and more forever and ever!   Now the contrast. Judges 21 and the few chapters before with murder, rape, kidnapping, inhospitality of the worst kind, coveting, foolish vow-making, promises then broken, everyone doing what ever they want and to heck with everyone and everything else especially God, and to top it all off blame Him for the mess their in.  ‘…the Lord has made a gap in the tribes of Israel’ (Judges 21:15).  Easy to blame the Lord when we refuse to look squarely in the mirror.  It says they ‘had no king’, chaos reigned, self was on the throne, do your own thing bumper-stickers on their carts, if it feels right do it ( and even if it doesn’t, do it anyway).  I don’t know about  you but sounds a bit modern this ancient Old Testament book of Judges.  What a contrast with Psalm 46.  Like heaven and hell.  Aren’t you glad that we’re heaven bound?  I sure am!  Wish others were as well, especially among our families and friends. Keep praying and keep looking up…

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