(October 24, 2022) Brian Bell shares about repeating oneself…
Have you ever been told you talk too much?
Many years ago, I was told that I tended to repeat myself – no, not by my wife, Eveline, who says I am ‘the quiet man’!’
On the subject of repeating oneself, did you know that Psalm 107 is a chapter of repetition? As I share the following brief thoughts, I recall being taught that when scripture repeats a matter it is to emphasise a matter of real importance. So, I trust you sense that God is saying important to our hearts here.
Repetition of the Call for Praise (Psalm107: 8,15,21,31)
In Psalm 107 the psalmist’s desire is that we would ‘praise the Lord for His goodness and His wonderful works to the children of men.’
Unfortunately, so many today people do not see or will not acknowledge God’s hands in the affairs of humanity, what I would call the goodness of God, which is designed to lead us to repentance. (Goodness is an attribute of God but does not make Him any less Holy or just.)
Very often we praise the Lord when we are feeling good about ourselves or perhaps when the circumstances of life are to our liking as, one song writer says, ‘Life is easy when you’re up on the mountain.’But praise is to be expressed irrespective of our mood or circumstances!
Perhaps one of the best-known scriptural examples is that of Paul and Silas imprisoned at Philippi (Acts 16:19ff). Despite everything they praised God… and other prisoners listened.
Praise helps us to focus on the God who is above all, and it is worth repetition!
Repetition of the Need to Pray (Psalm 107: 6,13,19,28)
In the context of these repeated verses, notice when the praying took place ‘in their trouble’, or as the Message version puts verse 6, ‘then you called out to God in your desperate condition.’
Voices are often lifted up in prayer when things are desperate – I have known that in past personal experiences. We may also see this in times of national distress, most notably when awful tragedies or atrocities take place. There is a sense in which this is good, particularly when men and women see the desperate condition of sinful lives and cry to God for forgiveness and salvation.
Unfortunately, too often prayer is an escape route, an emergency lifeline. While God is gracious and will often answer such prayers, He longs that we pray out of our love for Him and desire to open our hearts to Him… and that is worth repetition.
Repetition of the Promise of Deliverance (Psalm 107: 6,13,19,28)
This promise is a positive response to our prayer or cry to the Lord to be delivered from any distress. I suggest three aspects…
- Deliverance from our past –
Jesus told a religious man, ‘You must be born again’ (John 3:7). And to a woman taken in adultery, ‘Go and sin no more’ (John 8:11). Scripture says that He will ‘hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea’ (Micah 7:19), what has been termed by preachers as ‘the sea of His forgetfulness.’
Do you have a past that won’t let you go? Bring it to the cross of Christ, repent and ask forgiveness – don’t depend on self-righteousness which in God’s eyes is as filthy rags.
Have you strayed like the Luke 15 prodigal – the Lord is waiting to welcome you back? You can be sure He will receive you!
- Deliverance in the present –
While we live in these bodies of flesh, even trusting Christ as Saviour, Jesus said, ‘In the world you will have tribulation but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world’ (John 16:33).
Whether you face sickness in your body, a struggle with a besetting sin, an uncertain future, keep holding to His promises. Faith brings us through (1 John 5:4).
- Deliverance for the future –
Jesus has promised He will return for His church, His born-again children. While it can be too easy to lose sight of this truth in our current generation, it is so important that Christians understand this scriptural truth in our generation. Despite everything, God is still in control!
Don’t be overly concerned about when the Lord will return (that is known only to God the Father!) – this is a promise of deliverance yet to be fulfilled – do know that we have been told to be ready, to be on guard (Mark 21:33).
Here in the United Kingdom, we have been going through political and financial upheaval, affecting the life of every citizen, believer or unbeliever, to a greater or lesser degree.
The other day, our doorbell rang. When I opened the door a gentleman identified himself as a Jehovah’s Witness and asked me if I had confidence for the future. My reply was not what he expected as I said, ‘We are very confident about the future because our future is in the hands of the Lord Jesus.’
Psalm 107:1Mge exhorts, ‘Oh, thank God – He’s so good! His love never runs out.’
Repetition worth focusing on
These are days for when Christians should continue to praise God for His goodness… such prayers are always worth repetition. And they encourage our hearts!
Words from Gordon Jensen’s song Redemption Draweth Nigh come to mind… (bracketed emphasis mine): ‘Keep your eyes upon the eastern sky (this means my focus)
Lift up your head (this means be encouraged) redemption draweth nigh.’
May you be focused on all He has done, is doing and will do for you!
Brian Bell is a diaconate member, Christ Church (Congregational) Abbots Cross, Northern Ireland, and a volunteer with Disabled Christians Fellowship Ireland. Brian describes himself as ‘grateful for the privilege and opportunity given me to serve my Lord.’