Adopted, Not Orphaned
And there he lets the hungry dwell,
and they establish a city to live in;
they sow fields and plant vineyards
and get a fruitful yield.
By his blessing they multiply greatly,
and he does not let their livestock diminish.
Read & Respond: A few months ago, my husband spied a Mastiff in the ditch of a country road. Being partial to the big dogs, he stopped for a closer look. The bag of bones walked up to him and collapsed against him. He was severely emaciated, had terrible ear infections, and stank to the highest heavens. He was in a mess so big he couldn’t fix himself.
So we took him home. First order of business was a bath. We got him to the vet and got his ears healed. And we fed him, and fed him, and fed him. He’s learned the house rules, been loved on, and gained 50 pounds. He’s been changed by living with us.
I’m sure you see where I’m going with this: Your heavenly Father has been called the “hound of heaven” in His relentless pursuit of you. You are in a mess so big you can’t fix yourself, but as soon as you collapse against Him, He takes you home. He gives you a bath, teaches you the rules, heals your hurts, feeds you and loves on you.
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It is self-righteous to forget His hand in our development. Let’s bask in our redemption this week!
Psalm 107 “sings” the story of the redeemed. The verses of the song highlight the troubles we were facing; the choruses tell us what the Lord has done and what we can do in response.
One of our key responses to this amazing adoption would be to dwell–to settle in–to make a home in this presence He has provided (vs. 36-38). Have you ever missed the blessing of an area because you were too grumpy about having to PCS there? Or the opposite, have you dreaded going someplace only to find it was an incredible blessing? Let’s not miss out on our spiritual opportunity to dwell with the Lord because we won’t let go of the guilt He has already forgiven us, or the disappointment we aren’t as perfect as we “should” be, or the legalism of turning it all into lists of “do’s and don’ts” instead of resting in the Lord.
Core Concept: We are changed by God’s adoption.
Think About It:
- Have you ever dreaded a military PCS only to find the place was an incredible blessing?
- In Psalm 107:36 above, who are the inhabitants of God’s dwelling place and established city?
- In what ways can our “hunger” help us dwell more fully in the Lord?
- How have you already been changed by increasing your awareness of the Lord?
This Week’s Praise & Worship Prompts:
Day 1: Meditate on Psalm 107
As you go through Psalm 107, pray the Lord will teach you to dwell spiritually and physically where He has you. Memorize verse 1 and have it on the tip of your tongue this week. Frame all of your thoughts around it and meditate on the concepts of spiritual hunger and adoption into God’s dwelling.
Day 2: Emaciated vs. Emancipated
Psalm 107:43 tells us to ponder the loving deeds of the Lord. Make a couple of lists: “emaciated” (Example: unable to control my temper) and “emancipated” (Example: giving the Lord the right to vengeance). Also consider Luke 1:46-55 and Luke 1:68-79. Marvel today at what Jesus has done for us.
Day 3: Join the Chorus
Highlight and write down the action phrases for the chorus lines in this Psalm:
For example vs. 1–give thanks
Now let’s do it! Be hungry!! Give thanks to the Lord today.
Day 4: Name That Tune
Give a heading to each of the verses of this song.
For example vs. 4-7 starving wanderer
No case is hopeless! Feed the hungry, pray for some of the seemingly hopeless cases in your life–and let them know you did.
Day 5: Tell Your Story
Which situation best describes how you were before Christ: starving wanderer, prisoner in darkness, foolish rebel, self-sufficient survivor? Which role do you slip into now? Concentrate your thoughts not on your chains, but on His breaking of those chains. In vs. 35-42, we see He brings us to the city – we need to dwell. What are the hard parts of being in a home: discipline, responsibilities, or submission? Sometimes it’s hard to accept that we are truly loved. Man’s very first temptation was to doubt the Father’s love. Remember vs. 2: Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story. Let’s tell our stories today! Fill Facebook with testimonies. Tweet out how the Lord is blessing you. Email someone a reminder of His presence.