Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle. They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away.Psalm 107:4-5
Who are these wanderers? They are what we might call the restless ones. They are the ones who wander about from place to place, from job to job, or from marriage to marriage, filled with questions and seeking to find where the answer lies. There are a lot of them today. They cannot find the answers. They are looking for something, but they cannot find it. They keep wandering from place to place and from experience to experience, trying to find something to satisfy.
The psalmist says they are looking for
a city where they could settle. Those of us who live in a city and are choked with fumes; crowded on the freeways; and exhausted with fighting taxes, crime, and crabgrass wonder why anyone would want to live in a city; it is the country that is attractive to us. But the Bible indicates that God has designed that humans should ultimately live in cities. Hebrews 11:10 says that Abraham was looking for the city
with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. Why? A city is always characterized by two qualities: excitement and security. Excitement is created whenever people gather together. There things are happening; that is where the action is. Cities are also a place of security. If you are going to experience trouble, it is better to have others around. Defense is more easily possible in a city if an attack comes. So the people described in this verse are looking for the things you can find in a city: excitement and security.
We are told how they find satisfaction:
Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle (Psalm 107:6-7). Some of you have had this experience. You too were restless; you were uncertain, wandering, hungry, and thirsty for life, but you could never find it. You tried everything. Finally, when you reached the bottom, you cried to the Lord in your trouble. When you did, He heard you. Not suddenly or instantaneously, but gradually, He began to set you free. He began to lead you
by a straight way. God delivers those in this condition by leading them in a straight way. They have been wandering circuitously, deviously; now they start going straight. That is the way described in the Scripture. It is a straight way, right through the middle of life. God leads them until they find a city to dwell in, until they reach the place of excitement and security.
Lord, thank You for hearing my cry for help. Thank You for Your steadfast love, which rescues me from my restless wandering and leads me in the straight way.
Being at home with Christ is the joyful expectation of His people. Are we on the straight path that leads to that home, or have we settled for the wastelands?