56 But they put God to the test
and rebelled against the Most High;
they did not keep his statutes.
57 Like their ancestors they were disloyal and faithless,
as unreliable as a faulty bow.
58 They angered him with their high places;
they aroused his jealousy with their idols.
59 When God heard them, he was furious;
he rejected Israel completely.
60 He abandoned the tabernacle of Shiloh,
the tent he had set up among humans.
61 He sent the ark of his might into captivity,
his splendor into the hands of the enemy.
62 He gave his people over to the sword;
he was furious with his inheritance.
63 Fire consumed their young men,
and their young women had no wedding songs;
64 their priests were put to the sword,
and their widows could not weep.
Reflections: Here again today we see the lament of the psalmist, as God has withdrawn his hand of protection and favor and is angry with His people, Israel. He is furious in fact that they have run after other gods. If there is one thing to make God mad, it is the worship of other gods. And we see His wrath poured out on His own people, in the form of oppressors who came down and took over the temple. The Israelites were spread out and had no place to worship.
Worshiping God is at the heart of our relationship with God. The bible is God’s love story of God redeeming a people for Himself, out of the world who will give glory to His name. That is His purpose to draw all people to Himself, and He has made that possible through sending His Son, Jesus. As we worship God in Jesus’ name, we are assured of His power and authority in our lives as we lead a life worthy of your calling. Where are you tempted to worship other gods? Money? Power? Lust? Remember, just as God called out the Israelites to worship Him, if you have been baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you have been marked with the cross of Christ to serve him here on earth and forever in heaven.
25 After you have had children and grandchildren and have lived in the land a long time—if you then become corrupt and make any kind of idol, doing evil in the eyes of the Lord your God and arousing his anger, 26 I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you this day that you will quickly perish from the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess. You will not live there long but will certainly be destroyed. 27 The Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and only a few of you will survive among the nations to which the Lord will drive you. 28 There you will worship man-made gods of wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or eat or smell. 29 But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the Lord your God and obey him. 31 For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath.
Reflection: We see a foreshadowing of what will happen to Israel as they enter the Promised Land. Though they have a period of brief prosperity, soon they begin to want to become like the kingdoms around them, wanting a king. After they begin to run after other gods, much like their pagan neighbors, God scatters them for a time until He will bring His Promised Son to redeem us once and for all!
Jesus Calls His First Disciples
5 One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. 2 He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
Reflections: As Jesus calls his first disciples, he uses the situation to demonstrate who He really is. As Jesus was teaching he realized it was a “teachable moment”, because they hadn’t caught anything all day. Though doubtful, Peter lowers the nets, and when he hauls in a huge catch he begins to realize the true nature of Jesus. As he does so, he falls to his knees and cries out, “Go away from me I am a sinful man.”
Jesus realizes Peter’s fear and says, “Don’t worry from now on you will be catching men!” As Peter realizes who he is and who Jesus is, he is humbled. It is in this state that Jesus calls him. As we realize who Jesus is, and who we are, we are also put into the proper state of admission and submission. It is from this position that Jesus calls us, just so it is abundantly clear that as we fish for people, it is He who provides the catch!
Thus says the Lord, “I will rejoice in doing good to them.” Jeremiah 32:41
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. John 3:16
Just as the Lord rejoices in doing good for us, so may we rejoice in our great-hearted Redeemer through all we do. Let us testify to the entire world—“God is love!” In the name of Jesus. Amen.