A few weekends ago I took a trip with my sister, Grace Kim, to Roseville, CA. We made a great team as we led worship at the Rock of Roseville Church (Well, Grace led and I played backup keyboards and helped direct the church band in following Grace). It was a wonderful time of leading a congregation into the presence of the Lord. But I must say that the highlights of the trip were principally just getting closer to my stunning, 7th-month-expectant sister, and secondly, the plane rides. As to the latter, I love the absolute vulnerability of flying. There’s still something strange to me about a 45 ton piece of metal hurling through the atmosphere at 530 mph. On our first flight I opened my bible and flipped to one of my defaults (i.e. favorites), Psalm 36. After describing the posture of the wicked man in verses 1-4, David turns to look at the heavens, the clouds, the mountains, and the seas (all of which were clearly evident outside my own plane window) in verses 5-6 and how they envision the faithful mercies of God in preserving a humanity so bent on rebellion. In verse 7, David contrasts the response of the righteous toward God’s precious mercy compared with that of those who reject it: they “take refuge in the shadow of Your wings”. Every time the plane takes off or lands I feel that “taking refuge” most manifestly (especially on those rickety American Airlines landings!). But for a moment, ponder how precious this must be to God. For many, if the plane goes down, men curse God and die. But few thank Him for a lifetime of preserving mercy. How many men look out the window to see the clouds and admire “Mother Nature” (which in itself is such a statement of Evolutionist Naturalism… your mother is not Nature…) or see a great lake below and forget that God once flooded the earth with water and is hence preserving it from ever such a deluge (2 Peter 3:5-7)? Men look at Creation and volitionally suppress the truth of a Creator (Rom. 1:20); each stubborn denial “storing up wrath for the day of wrath” (Rom. 2:5). But then the plane safely lands again and again. And then it rains again. And again. And again. And again. God continues loving and preserving ungrateful and evil men (Luke 6:35-36). And it is mercy that preaches (Rom. 2:4). Indeed God is not leaving Himself without a witness (Acts 14:17) as every drop of rain silently preaches to the race of men, “God sent me! Don’t you see how kind He is? God sent me to refresh you, but you hate Him and refuse His right to rule over you! Know this now: I may come again as a Tsunami! But all I can do is testify of my Creator, He is both Power and Love (cf. Ps. 62:11-12). Repent of your rebellion and Believe in God!” But this witness will only last for a short while, and then comes the final judgment (Heb. 9:27). Do we not comprehend the fragility of our lives? It will not always be a safe landing. You will not always come home to a warm bed. Death is the great equalizer of us all and it fearfully coerces us to hope in Someone who is Living, who is Self-Existent. Our lives are in the hand of God (Ecc. 9). Take refuge there! He promises life and resurrection and pleasures forevermore.
“Your lovingkindness, O LORD, extends to the heavens, Your faithfulness reaches to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; Your judgments are like a great deep. O LORD, You preserve man and beast. How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.” (Psalm 36:5-7)