GOD MOVES IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS  (Psalm 77)

July 22, 2018

The night was dark and foggy. A man walked in the darkness from his house to the cobblestone street. His step was determined and relentless. But if anyone could have seen his face in the dark, it was tear-stained and weary. As he reached the street, he looked both ways, looking for the telltale lantern of a horse-drawn, London cab. The man muttered, “nothing! Am I too late? But no! I must end it all tonight! And the river it must be.” Then, in the distance, he saw a hazy light, slowly enlarging. Almost whispering, the man said bitterly, “God, You provided me no solace, but here You provide the cab to take me to my death,” “Where to,” asked the cabbie, “London Bridge,” the man replied curtly, “A cold night it is sir, what sort of business do you have at the bridge at this hour?” But the man said nothing.

 

The cabbie ended his attempt at conversation, and set off toward that well-know destination. But the fog became thicker and thicker, so that the cabbie couldn’t even see his horse’s nose. What should have been a twenty- minute ride lasted for more than an hour, and still there was no sign of the river or the six-hundred-year-old bridge. The cabbie peered into the fog, desperately looking for some familiar sign. Suddenly, the fog lifted. The passenger, startled from his morose stare, looked to his right, and saw to his amazement his own home! The cab, lost in the fog had circled back to the very place where he had begun his journey. ”My God, You have answered me!” The passenger cried out. Later that night, by his own hearth, this man, William Cowper, one of England’s greatest eighteenth-century poets, meditated on Psalm 77, KJV:  

“I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and He gave ear unto me. In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted. I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah. Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times. I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search. Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will He be favourable no more? Is His mercy clean gone for ever? doth His promise fail for evermore? Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath He in anger shut up His tender mercies? Selah.  And I said, ‘This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High. I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember Thy wonders of old.  I will meditate also of all Thy work, and talk of Thy doings. Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God? Thou art the God that doest wonders: Thou hast declared Thy strength among the people.

Thou hast with Thine arm redeemed Thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah. The waters saw Thee, O God, the waters saw Thee; they were afraid: the depths also were troubled. The clouds poured out water: the skies sent out a sound: Thine arrows also went abroad. The voice of Thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook. Thy way is in the sea, and Thy path in the great waters, and Thy footsteps are not known. Thou leddest Thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.”

Then William Cowper (1731–1800). wrote this great poem

God moves in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform,

He plants His footsteps in the sea, and rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable wells of never-failing skill,

He treasures up His bright designs, and works His sovereign will,

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take! The clouds you so much dread,

Are big with mercy and shall break in blessings on your head,

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, but trust Him for His grace,

Behind a frowning providence, He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast, unfolding every hour,

The bud may have a bitter taste, but sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err, and scan His work in vain,

God is His own interpreter, He will make it plain.

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