Devotions By Jan

I Heard the Bells

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Scripture for Today: Psalm 44:23 “Wake Yourself up, why do You sleep, Lord? Awake, do not reject us forever.”

I love hearing the bells here in San Juan Capistrano everyday. They toll longer on December 8, marking the day of the 1812 earthquake. Unfortunately, that quake brought down the great stone church. The remaining ruins remind folks of the forty Native Americans who died that day during mass. The Christmas carol, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, declares,”Then pealed the bells more loud and deep; ‘God is not dead nor doth He sleep.’ The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, with peace on earth goodwill to men.”

Today’s verse is a honest heartfelt cry by the psalmist. He feels God is asleep and is unaware of the affliction and oppression the people are experiencing. (verse 24) With God’s silence the psalmist feels ignored and rejected. The reality is that God never sleeps or slumbers. (Psalm 121:4) But this psalm is full of accusations and bitterness. At the close, he acknowledges that any help from God would not be because of their faithfulness, but because of His mercy. God shows favor by not giving to us what we deserve!

God will right all wrongs because He is just and because He has promised. But at no time do I deserve His justice. If I feel like He is late acting on my behalf, I am being as demanding as the psalmist. But He has revealed that His justice is perfect and perfectly timed. I can trust not only His justice but His mercy and grace. Without it I would stand condemned. But because of Christ’s birth, merciful love and sacrifice I am not rejected. We see baby Jesus sleeping in the manger at Christmas, but the reality is that our God is awake and in control!

Thank you Lord, for Your perfect justice.

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