My husband and I like to watch "I Shouldn't Be Alive," a show about people who get unexpectedly caught in precarious situations, and shouldn't have lived through them. More often than not, the survivors are folks who ventured into some deserted area without telling anyone where they were going. Hardly a show goes by when I don't say, Well, what were they thinking? That was just stupid.They should've known better. As I said that last night, I thought...I knew better too.
We set off on big adventures, searching for excitement. We're aware that danger is ahead, but we risk it anyway. Even though we've seen the hurt it causes in others, we're sure sin won't effect us in the same way. We know what we're doing.
Even so, it never fails: sin takes us farther than we ever intend to go, and at a much faster speed. We eventually end up at a place where we ask ourselves how we ever got there. We never imagined we'd go as far as we did.
Back to the show...
Many survivors tell how they reached a breaking point. Their resolve to live started to fade. It was usually the point when they had given up and were prepared to die that they were rescued.
When we are trapped in the web of sin we've created, it's usually then that we give up. We realize there's nothing we can do to make our sin go away. We need someone to come to us, right where we are, and rescue us. We need someone to lift us out of our mess, and give us a chance for a new start.
1 Oh, thank God - he's so good! His love never runs out. 2 All of you set free by God, tell the world! Tell how he freed you from oppression, 3 Then rounded you up from all over the place, from the four winds, from the seven seas. 4 Some of you wandered for years in the desert, looking but not finding a good place to live, 5 Half-starved and parched with thirst, staggering and stumbling, on the brink of exhaustion. 6 Then, in your desperate condition, you called out to God. He got you out in the nick of time; 7 He put your feet on a wonderful road that took you straight to a good place to live. 8 So thank God for his marvelous love, for his miracle mercy to the children he loves. 9 He poured great draughts of water down parched throats; the starved and hungry got plenty to eat. 10 Some of you were locked in a dark cell, cruelly confined behind bars, 11 Punished for defying God's Word, for turning your back on the High God's counsel - 12 A hard sentence, and your hearts so heavy, and not a soul in sight to help. 13 Then you called out to God in your desperate condition; he got you out in the nick of time. 14 He led you out of your dark, dark cell, broke open the jail and led you out. 15 So thank God for his marvelous love, for his miracle mercy to the children he loves; 16 He shattered the heavy jailhouse doors, he snapped the prison bars like matchsticks! 17 Some of you were sick because you'd lived a bad life, your bodies feeling the effects of your sin; 18 You couldn't stand the sight of food, so miserable you thought you'd be better off dead. 19 Then you called out to God in your desperate condition; he got you out in the nick of time. 20 He spoke the word that healed you, that pulled you back from the brink of death. 21 So thank God for his marvelous love, for his miracle mercy to the children he loves; 22 Offer thanksgiving sacrifices, tell the world what he's done - sing it out! 23 Some of you set sail in big ships; you put to sea to do business in faraway ports. 24 Out at sea you saw God in action, saw his breathtaking ways with the ocean: 25 With a word he called up the wind - an ocean storm, towering waves! 26 You shot high in the sky, then the bottom dropped out; your hearts were stuck in your throats. 27 You were spun like a top, you reeled like a drunk, you didn't know which end was up. 28 Then you called out to God in your desperate condition; he got you out in the nick of time. 29 He quieted the wind down to a whisper, put a muzzle on all the big waves. 30 And you were so glad when the storm died down, and he led you safely back to harbor. 31 So thank God for his marvelous love, for his miracle mercy to the children he loves. 32 Lift high your praises when the people assemble, shout Hallelujah when the elders meet! 33 God turned rivers into wasteland, springs of water into sunbaked mud; 34 Luscious orchards became alkali flats because of the evil of the people who lived there. 35 Then he changed wasteland into fresh pools of water, arid earth into springs of water, 36 Brought in the hungry and settled them there; they moved in - what a great place to live! 37 They sowed the fields, they planted vineyards, they reaped a bountiful harvest. 38 He blessed them and they prospered greatly; their herds of cattle never decreased. 39 But abuse and evil and trouble declined 40 as he heaped scorn on princes and sent them away. He gave the poor a safe place to live, 41 treated their clans like well-cared-for sheep. 42 Good people see this and are glad; bad people are speechless, stopped in their tracks. 43 If you are really wise, you'll think this over - it's time you appreciated God's deep love.
Psalm 107, The Message