Psalm 40:1-3, NIV
‘I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in God.
This morning I watched as a drama unfolded before my very eyes! I was out walking our dog, Harris, when I noticed a cow stuck in the mud on the other side of the canal. It was deeply embedded in the mire, totally unable to move. Immediately, I set off to tell the farmer, but my desire to help was like a prayer to God when he says, ‘Before they call I will answer’ (Isaiah 65:24). For I then saw that the farmer was already on his way!
A tractor was coming across the field, headed straight for the stranded cow. No human effort alone could have got this large and heavy cow out of the mess she was in. So the farmer put a strong rope round the cow’s neck and attached the other end to the front of his tractor. Then, reversing gently away, he pulled the cow out of the mire and dragged her to safe ground. It was rough treatment, but for the cow it was salvation! The cow was very muddy and obviously exhausted, but could now recover from her ordeal in safety.
As I watched the scene unfold, I was reminded of our scripture for today. The whole of the human race was sinking deep in the mire of sin. No human effort could lift humanity out of the mess. Because of the weight of its own sin, mankind was sinking deeper and deeper into the mire. It needed a Farmer with a ‘divine tractor’ to come and take charge.
But instead of the Farmer putting the rope round our necks, it was Jesus who endured the ‘rough treatment’ for us, so that our feet may once again be placed on a rock of certainty. When He rescued us the mud of the world covered us. The cleansing flow of the blood of Jesus is all we need to be cleaned up and released into living a new life with and for Him.
As I watched, the rescued cow struggled to its feet again, to carry on grazing in the field. I realised that the muddy hole was still there and the cow would now have to be careful not to fall back in. The enemy of souls hates it when God’s children are rescued and, like the cow, we must constantly be on our guard not to fall back into the enemy’s mud. Let’s resolve now to stay on the rock and build our lives on the security of His love. And may there be many who will be amazed at what God has done in our lives and as a result choose to put their trust in Him.
Prayer: Thank you for the lessons you show us from our experiences in life. Thank you for rescuing me from the miry clay and for putting my feet on the rock. Help me to stay there, anchored by the security of Your love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Arise and Build – Teaching DVD by Peter Horrobin