People are sedentary. Not in that they sit all the time, but that once people begin a habit, lifestyle, or direction, they rarely change their ways. I wonder if that’s part of the eternal aspect of humans. We long for constancy. We’re meant for eternity.
But every once in a while, change happens. And although God’s character is constant, he seems to be described as an active being rather than someone limited to one place at one time. In the Psalms, here are three examples I’ve seen of change–a disruption to human inertia.
Psalm 107 is an excellent example of change. “Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story–” calls the Psalm, and then describes how God gave the desert wanderers a city, saved prisoners from chains, and rescued fools from the grave. The Psalm ends by describing how God causes change (Ps 107:39-43). The LORD is seen as one who is active in our lives, delivering us by interrupting the dangerous inertia of our lives. That’s why it is important to call on him. Labels like fool, wanderer, rebel, or prisoner can’t keep God away from us.
On a side note, I believe that it’s important to note not only how God turns graves into gardens–but also gardens into graves (Ps 107: 33-35). God is love, but we can understand this only through acknowledging all the facets of what he does.
Something in Psalm 113 that strikes me is God changing our circumstances by giving us what we desire. The first time I read it, I thought verse 9 said “He settles the childless woman in her home, as happy as a mother of children.” Then the second time, I noticed it was: “He settles the childless woman in her home, as a happy mother of children.” The small change made a big difference! In any case, I’ve come to expect that God will never give us what we desire, but teach us how to be happy in Him, and that’s the real treasure. And that is true; contentment in Jesus is our ultimate fulfillment. However, this Psalm shows that God changed someone’s circumstances by actually giving her what she desired. Sometimes God changes our lives by giving us what we desire.
As a third example, I noticed that Psalm 149 and 150 mention “dance” as part of praising God. To me, dance and music are the opposite of monotonous inertia. The intersection of life as constant and eternal but also active and fluid is found in God’s character, whose “love endures forever,” but who steps into places of disillusionment to change lives. We praise him using dance and song that also changes–reflecting the way he moved to our world in love.
Until next time,