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As I look at my Jasmine vine in my garden, and read Psalm 85, I think of a parallel--
Israel, God's chosen ones had gone astray. They had wandered from God. They had once again stumbled in their own way and followed their own choices down a weary, well-worn path of sin. David cries out on behalf of his people: 5. "Will you be angry with us always? Will you prolong your wrath to all generations? 6. Won't you revive us again, so your people can rejoice in you?" My jasmine, if left to itself will wander around; it is not a well-trained vine. It grows every which way and looks very scraggly. It can actually do itself and other plants around it harm when it trails off. It can starve itself and strangle other plants in the process with its wild runners. My job, as the gardener is to train it and cut off anything I deem as harmful.
I think, we here in America have gotten a warped view of God. We view him as a power hungry overlord ready to dole out rules and restrictions just because he wants us under his thumb of authority. If we would get back to the point where we realize that he loves us and that we need his ways to keep us from harming ourselves and others, then we could once again enjoy the freedom of Gods' love and blessing. If my jasmine vine got angry when I pruned it and refused to let me train it onto the tree where it is growing, I would have to pull it up and burn it. What is Gods' choice with us? We must turn as Israel did and cry our to him, submit ourselves to his care and allow him to prune and shape us. We should remember that he loves his creation and knows how to care for it best, and love him with all our hearts in response. 8."I listen carefully to what God the LORD is saying, for he speaks peace to the faithful. But let them not return to their foolish ways. Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him, So our land will be filled with his glory."