by Christopher Harbin

Long Term Yields
Christopher B. Harbin
Psalm 119; Isaiah 55:10-13; Mat 13:1-9, 18-23; Rom 8:1-11

We have all heard the rhyme, no doubt: What are little girls made of? Sugar and spice and everything nice, that's what little girls are made of. What are little boys made of? Snips and snails and puppy dog tails, that's what little boys are made of. Allow me to propose a different line of sorts: What is society made of? Credit and purchase and debt and consumption, instant gratification is the stuff we are made of. It is the root problem of our national economic woes. While the Bible would encourage us to take a long term view of life, we want to live in the moment and for the moment. Can we experience worthwhile results from living for anything less than the long term yields of God's guidance?

The psalmist calls us to establish our lives on a better framework than one for which we would settle. He calls us to find God's instruction and guidance as the parameter for true living. He sets forth God's instruction as a guide he is determined to follow. It is a means of security in the face of danger and opposition from enemies. He is not so concerned with the immediacy, but the long term results of God's protection, direction, and blessing. Problems still exist in his path, but he lives for something more than the temporary distractions they provide.

Isaiah speaks of the assurance of God's provision. His words begin with the picture of a crop's dependence upon rain. He does not stop there. That is still a picture of a medium term yield of dependence on God's provision. He speaks rather of a return from exile. Generations down the road, God's hand of provision would be seen and understood as preparing for a new day under Yahweh's new quality of joy and blessing.

It was not the picture the people were so interested in hearing. It spoke of hope, yet hope that would be a long time in coming to full realization. They wanted the short term resp ...

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