The word “current” is interesting in it’s dual meanings. “Current” is a word used to describe what is happening now, what is going on. We read the paper, watch the news, listen to the radio, and talk to each other about “current events”. These are things that are happening presently. Life-shaping, day-altering, and earth shaking realities are revealed in the ever moving time frame that we call “current”.
But “current” has another meaning. It is the word we use to explain what is happening in water when there is movement, both below and above the surface. We hear about, and maybe have even felt, “rip currents” at the beach. We know that current pushes rivers into large rocks and creates rapids. Current can drag a person further out into the water than they want to go, or it can simply move you parallel down the shoreline, making it difficult to remain in one location.
In Psalm 89 there is quite a bit of talk about what has happened to Israel. The Psalmist cries out to God with examples of injustice, hardship, and difficulty. Near the end, in the last several verses, the author moves into present tense and pleads with God not just for past problems to be righted, but for present problems to be dealt with by the hand of the Almighty. The Psalmist gives us an idea of what was going on “currently” with the people of God.
Despite much of the Psalm being about their oppression, the last verse shines through and stands as an obvious example for us:
Blessed be the LORD forever!
Amen and Amen.
Psalm 89:52 ESV
The beauty of this closing verse is in the context. When so many things are going wrong on multiple fronts, we have a tendency to let current events become a powerful current that sweeps us into water that is far too deep, dangerous, and displacing. The current here gains strength from the things that are taking place currently. Is this not true in our own nation even now? Are we not so wrapped up in the threads of an election that we are beginning to sound bizarrely like people afflicted with obsession? How many of us have paid far more attention to poll numbers, campaign rhetoric (from both sides), and doomsday predictions than to the hurting, hungry, and marginalized outside of their front doors; not to mention the deep places of the relationship we have with God. We’ve allowed the current of current events to sweep us off of our feet. Do we still believe in the sovereignty of God? Do we not still believe that if we pray and seek Him, there is peace and assurance in that place no matter the current situation?
The Psalmist moves through so many past problems, then heaps on the pile the newest issues that are still pending God’s attention. And then, in the end, he ends with that against-all-odds proclamation of blessing to the Lord. This is how we anchor ourselves when the current of current events threatens our stability.
This is not a new idea that I am putting forward, but just a reminder. There must be something in us as believers that stares down impossibilities and difficult circumstances with eyes that are locked onto the shores of hope with unshakable confidence. Not confidence in our ability to hold our own position. Not confidence in our stamina to outlast the current. But confidence in the fact that we have dropped our anchor in the Scriptures, the very words of God, and we are tethered to that reality that says anything is possible with God, our glorious God, and at any time, even currently.
Stand firm friends. God has never lost control of, nor has He ever left us alone in, the current.
The foundation of the Christian’s peace is everlasting; it is what no time, no change can destroy. It will remain when the body dies; it will remain when the mountains depart and the hills shall be removed, and when the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll. The fountain of His comfort shall never be diminished, and the stream shall never be dried. His comfort and joy is a living spring in the soul, a well of water springing up to everlasting life.
– Jonathon Edwards