“What’s That Under Your Feet?”

We were on our way home from a family day out when one of the adults said, “I don’t know how I got sand in my ear!”  I was hoping it was meant to be a rhetorical question.  After all, having been to the Jersey shore with three grandchildren five years old and under, getting sand everywhere was no problem.

As I thought about the question, my mind went to Psalm 139:17-18.  “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You.”

“They would outnumber the sand”–what a thought.  I suppose it’s because I grew up on the Great Lakes in Michigan and now live on the east coast, but when I read this verse my thoughts sort of default to the “sand on the beach or seashore.”  However, that’s not what the verse says!!  It simply says that God’s thoughts toward us are more numerous than the “sand”—no further qualification or limitations given.  The “sand on the seashore” is too meager in amount to properly reflect God’s thoughts toward us.

A second idea came to mind.  Although a few tribes in Israel had maritime locations and therefore beaches, the idea of the psalm probably does not picture a beach.  A better likelihood is that the psalmist was picturing the sand in the deserts of the region.  While some Israelites could envision a seashore, all Israelites knew the story of the Wilderness Wanderings.  Now there’s a thought worth mediating on—all the while that the Israelites were wandering in the wilderness, they were walking on reminders of how numerous God’s thoughts were toward them.

Perhaps next time we feel like we’re lost in the wastelands of life, we need to take a look at what’s under our feet . . . just may be one of God’s numerous reminders of His care and concern for us!

Chuck McLain

About Charles McLain
I am Chair and Professor of Old Testament at Calvary Baptist Seminary in Lansdale, PA.

One Response to “What’s That Under Your Feet?”

  1. Jim E says:

    Now, that was good!!!…that’s worth a few kudos from this corner of the world…

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