On today’s news we continue to see the devastating images emerging from the uncontrollable fires in Australia. This is not the first or I suspect the final tragedy to hit our news and our hearts. This, like other situation, evokes a massive emotional response of sorrow, compassion and confusion, with many unable to comprehend the magnitude of the destruction.
Psalm 66 is a song of praise, not for the tragedy but for God’s work during it. It shows how we, as Christians, depend on God in times of trouble. The Psalmist exhorts all to praise God for the wonders he has wrought: (1-4) Then he calls on Israel to consider His mighty acts on behalf of their fathers (5-7) Further, he urges them to consider his goodness for them personally (8-12). Then the Psalmist promises to pay his vows and offer his sacrifices (13-15). Finally, we are all told to listen to what God has done for the psalmist personally – the power of testimony (15-20).
This is not a psalm attributed to David and various suggestions have been made as to its purpose and origin: possibly a celebration of the restoration of the Jews from the Babylonian captivity or the deliverance of Israel from Egypt or even their introduction into the Promised land or the establishment of the worship of God in Jerusalem.
Natural disasters, like sickness and disease, can leave us questioning God and His role in these situations. Our response as Christians is to trust the wisdom and sovereignty of God.
When facing disasters we have access to Father God on His throne, through prayer. The psalmist cries out urgently to God, who listens and show mercy.
Following disaster we must pray for God’s grace and blessing on all those affected in any way.
Father God we pray for all those suffering directly as a result of disaster, sickness and disease. We pray for those grieving for loss of live and livelihood. We lift up those living in fear of the future, the unknown and for those who don’t understand and are lost emotionally. We also pray for those leading and participating in the recovery and rescue efforts and to those offering help to the people and places affected by disaster. Thank you Father for Your protection, Your love and Your guidance for us all.