33 The Lord changed rivers into deserts, *and water-springs into thirsty ground,
34 A fruitful land into salt flats, *because of the wickedness of those who dwell there.
35 He changed deserts into pools of water *and dry land into water-springs.
36 He settled the hungry there, *and they founded a city to dwell in.
37 They sowed fields, and planted vineyards, *and brought in a fruitful harvest.
38 He blessed them, so that they increased greatly; *he did not let their herds decrease.
39 Yet when they were diminished and brought low, *through stress of adversity and sorrow,
40 (He pours contempt on princes *and makes them wander in trackless wastes)
41 He lifted up the poor out of misery *and multiplied their families like flocks of sheep.
42 The upright will see this and rejoice, *but all wickedness will shut its mouth.
This morning’s psalm describes a cosmos in which the Creator allows the inhabitants of the creation to suffer the consequences of their wrong-headed decisions to not follow the Creator, worship the Creator, abide by the Creator’s will and rules that the creation may flourish. The folks named here and throughout the biblical story that suffer the dry land and lost crops are those who choose to do life their way.
Today, environmentalists on both sides of the issue, who fail to see God’s hand in all of creation are at an impasse with respect to the issue itself – is climate change an existential threat? Is the earth becoming uninhabitable in just 10 years?
And with respect to solutions – yes human activity adds to the problem but I wonder if the bigger problem isn’t that humans have turned from God and in so doing, seeking solutions that might be at odds with God’s intentions from the beginning – namely, that humans steward the good earth in partnership with and at the behest of the Creator, rightly.
Point is – God doesn’t wave hands and dry up deserts or send rain willy nilly. The biblical poets recognize that when they live in concert with God and God’s will – loving neighbor, stewarding creation, showing mercy – life flourishes. And when they turn away and try to do things their own way, things don’t work out so well.
Just a thought. For today.
Praise God from whom all blessings, flow.
Saturday Daily Office Readings: