Reading: Psalm 138
Though the LORD is exalted, he looks kindly on the lowly;
though lofty, he sees them from afar.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve my life.
You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes;
with your right hand you save me.
The LORD will vindicate me;
your love, LORD, endures forever—
do not abandon the works of your hands (NIV).
There is something tragic about an abandoned house. An empty house has a missing soul. It was built to have souls—people—in it, so an absence of life invokes feelings of sadness in me. At one point hopes and dreams were alive in that house. It was a place of comfort and love—a refuge from nature’s elements. Perhaps it echoed with the voices of children at play, but now it sits empty and forlorn.
I find it surprising how quickly a home or community deteriorates after it’s abandoned. Have you viewed videos or the haunting images of the abandoned communities around the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear plants? In a few short years everything constructed by humans has become completely overgrown, and it begins to decay and breakdown.
Turning to today’s reading, we see that David ends this psalm with both a confession of faith and a prayer: The LORD will vindicate me; your love, LORD, endures forever—do not abandon the works of your hands.
David lives in confidence that the LORD is with him and will vindicate him—will side with him in the battles of life. But he adds this petition—do not abandon the works of your hands.
What happens when God abandons us? I dread the thought. When the LORD no longer lives among us, our lives—our spiritual lives—begin to deteriorate like an abandoned house in a nuclear exclusion zone. Around Fukushima wild boars have taken over. With no one to oppose them, they have ravaged the countryside and have moved into the abandoned towns.
Will the LORD abandon us? There is little chance of that happening. The far greater concern is that we abandon the LORD. I have witnessed firsthand the devastation that occurs when that happens. When people who respond to the gospel turn their backs on their Savior, over time the outcome resembles the ravages of nature on an abandoned home.
We need to recall these words: Though the LORD is exalted, he looks kindly on the lowly; though lofty, he sees them from afar. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life.
Response: LORD God, I want you to be fully at home in my heart and my mind. Show me your kindness. My body is a temple for your Holy Spirit. Live in me and through me, Lord Jesus. Amen.
Your Turn: How do you feel about abandoned houses? Is your inner man (woman) occupied by God?