In my devotional time this morning I read Ezekiel 48 and Psalm 104. In the last chapters of Ezekiel the prophet has been bringing hope to the exiles of Israel, telling them of the restoration that will come to them as God returns them from exile. Chapter 48 is the final chapter of his prophecy, and the book ends with this sentence about the Lord's city:
"And the name of the city from that time on shall be, The Lord Is There."
Psalm 104 is a psalm of praise to God. In my Bible it has the title "O Lord My God, You Are Very Great." In verse after verse after verse the psalmist proclaims the greatness of God. He goes to great lengths in describing the greatness of God as evident in the work of creation. And he responds to God in praise, saying this in verses 33 and 34:
"I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
May my meditation be pleasing to him,
for I rejoice in the Lord."
I felt blessed in having these two pieces of scripture come together in my reading this morning. Today, like so many days, the news of the world is bad. Today it is Ebola and ISIS. More recently it was Ferguson and Gaza. Farther back it was smallpox and the Civil War. And farther back it was an itinerant rabbi in Palestine. And before that was the original bad news, when a serpent said, "Did God actually say?"
Yet in the presence of bad news that seems to have no end there is a truth that remains. God is good, and all things are in His control, no matter how they appear in our eyes. Ezekiel's prophecy was that the Lord would be present, eternally, in His city. And the Lord is present, today, and every day, in this world. The Lord is not just there, but He is here. And He will not be moved.
And knowing that the Lord is here, I will sing praise to Him, today and every day.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.