Sunday, October 9, 2016

A Shipwreck and Thanksgiving

In 1719 Daniel Defoe's landmark book Robinson Crusoe hit the shelves in England.  The story depicts the pilgrimage of an arrogant young man into a life at sea, resulting in his shipwreck on a lonely island.  Through his time on the isle, he experiences a life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ and begins an earnest pursuit of Christ.

Looking for tobacco aboard his water-logged vessel, Crusoe finds a Bible, which falls open to Psalm 50.  He reads verses 14-15, "Offer to God thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High.  Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me."  

Then he reads this word in Psalm 78:19, "Yes, the spoke against God: They said, 'Can God prepare a table in the wilderness?' "  

Israel found herself in a barren desert.  They wondered if God could adequately feed their multitude and meet their need.  Crusoe's immediate challenge was to trust that God could deliver him one day from the uninhabited island.

However, a deeper issue arose in his mind and spirit.  The following day, Crusoe began verociously reading the New Testament.  Over time he realized that his greatest need - and his greatest trouble - was deliverance from his own nature of sin and self.  Only Jesus Christ could satisfy that need.

In the 1800's, Charles Spurgeon of London called Psalm 50 "The Robinson Crusoe Psalm." It challenges us to look at our problems through the lens of a very big God.  When Henry Blackaby moved his family from a thriving church in Los Angelos to a tiny congregation in the Canadian wilderness, many of his friends questioned his decision.  Friends called and visited, warning him with words such as, You will never be heard from again, Henry.  Dr. Blackaby simply reminded people, God knows where I am.  He is able to find me at any time.

The Psalm reminds of eight realities, showing us that the Lord wants us to trust His faithfulness even when life is dark.

God is faithful and trustworthy (1-6).

God does not need anything (7-13).

God is always bigger than we are.  – Steve Farrar

When in trouble, thank God by faith (14).

No matter where you are in life, no matter how dark your present circumstances, you can stand on the providence of God.  – Steve Farrar

Call out to the Lord expectantly (15).

Know that the Lord will use this for His glory (15).

Offer praise to God (23).

Choose to obey God (23).

Trust God in spite of difficulties.  He is able to make a way (23).

God is to be trusted when his providences seem to run contrary to his promises.   – Thomas Watson

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