Psalm 118: Who did this?

Psalm 118:1-4, 19-24, 29

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    for his steadfast love endures forever!

19 Open to me the gates of righteousness,

    that I may enter through them
    and give thanks to the Lord.
20 This is the gate of the Lord;
    the righteous shall enter through it.
21 I thank you that you have answered me
    and have become my salvation.
22 The stone that the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord‘s doing;
    it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day that the Lord has made;
    let us rejoice and be glad in it.

29 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    for his steadfast love endures forever!

Bumble Bee | Mercer Botanical Garden | March 2023

Jesus tells a parable about weeds and wheat. A man plants wheat and among the wheat grow up some weeds. But not just some innocuous weeds, but tares. Tares are an injurious weed resembling wheat when young. There is danger to the wheat if they remain. But the point of his parable is a warning against being too quick to remove the tares because some of the wheat might be harmed or removed in the process. It’s all about God’s desire that everyone be saved, and that we are not too quick to judge between one person and another as to one’s faith. God will sort it all out at the harvest – the End of Days.

I’m thinking about that sorting process, and what I can do in the meantime to live among the tares inside and outside of the church. And I’m wondering about how God will work to turn some tares into wheat. After all, Jesus changed water into wine. God can surely change tares into wheat. That’s what God does. And it’s a good thing.

I’m wondering about times in my life when I’ve been very much more like a tare – harmful to the wheat around me. Never on purpose would I wish to cause someone to falter in his or her faith. Never would I want simply to pretend to be a follower of Jesus when I’m actually undercutting the work of God and his grace in Jesus.

In the parable of Jesus, he explains that an enemy had sown the weeds among the wheat. That’s what the enemy of God does. He plants harmful things and people among the followers of Jesus. He wants to steal, kill, and destroy. The enemy does things that are marvelous in the eyes of the world, but horrifically harmful to God’s people and the world. His work is not marvelous in our eyes.

Today I want to focus on God’s work in my life and in the life of others. He brings tears of repentant joy to those who confess their sins and believe the Good News of Jesus. He moves hearts to reach out with loving kindness to those who grieve, offering the comfort of God’s love to hurting hearts. He moves people to be generous in helping people who are in need through ministries like Cypress Assistance Ministries. He helps refugees settle into their new homeland through places like Abba’s House. People who are homeless are given physical help and guidance through the work of CyFair Helping Hands. He reaches into the lives of young women who are carrying a child in a difficult situation, and sustains them through ministries like Two Lives Changed. These are just a few examples of wheat being wheat – bearing the fruit of righteousness.

And there are those churches and places where the message is getting to new people. Lives are being changed for all eternity. People are being brought to faith. God is at work there. New churches are being planted through the Harvest Partnership. We look with anticipation to the harvest. You can see this worldwide in places like Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, and  the baltic states where PLI is at work training pastors and lay leaders to make disciples who make disciples. This is only the tip of the iceberg of God’s work – things of which I am aware in my immediate sphere of influence. In fact, Diane and I will be teaching for PLI in Tanzania this summer. But all these groups and ministries would say unequivocally, along with this psalm:

This is the Lord‘s doing;
it is marvelous in our eyes.

So we say,

This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.


  1. Barbara Rogers said:

    May God grant you and Diane good health and travel mercies on your journey to Tanzania.

    • Thank you Barbara. We will be traveling there later this spring. Your prayers bless us!

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