Psalms of Honesty and Truth
Do you feel captive by what is going on around you? Do you feel trapped in situations you can do nothing about right now? Do you feel imprisoned in a work that demands more and more, making you feel weakened and and unappreciated? Do you feel that you are walking on eggshells with trepidation around the insecure and unstable emotions of others who are close to you? Has peace escaped you?
There are many ways to be held captive. I think of this as I read how God’s temple was destroyed and His people were taken captive. Some of His people were killed in the raid of all that was holy.
Is God’s church being held captive by worldview thinking?
Psalm 79, NLT
A psalm of Asaph.
1 O God, pagan nations have conquered your land,
your special possession.
They have defiled your holy Temple
and made Jerusalem a heap of ruins.
2 They have left the bodies of your servants
as food for the birds of heaven.
The flesh of your godly ones
has become food for the wild animals.
3 Blood has flowed like water all around Jerusalem;
no one is left to bury the dead.
4 We are mocked by our neighbors,
an object of scorn and derision to those around us.
5 O Lord, how long will you be angry with us? Forever?
How long will your jealousy burn like fire?
6 Pour out your wrath on the nations that refuse to acknowledge you—
on kingdoms that do not call upon your name.
7 For they have devoured your people Israel,[a]
making the land a desolate wilderness.
8 Do not hold us guilty for the sins of our ancestors!
Let your compassion quickly meet our needs,
for we are on the brink of despair.
9 Help us, O God of our salvation!
Help us for the glory of your name.
Save us and forgive our sins
for the honor of your name.
10 Why should pagan nations be allowed to scoff,
asking, “Where is their God?”
Show us your vengeance against the nations,
for they have spilled the blood of your servants.
11 Listen to the moaning of the prisoners.
Demonstrate your great power by saving those condemned to die.
12 O Lord, pay back our neighbors seven times
for the scorn they have hurled at you.
13 Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture,
will thank you forever and ever,
praising your greatness from generation to generation.
God gave His people victory over Egypt and helped them march through the wilderness and then conquer Canaan. He also gave them King David, who defeated their enemies and expanded their kingdom. But now God’s people are captive, the city and temple are ruined, and the heathen nations are triumphant. We see Asaph playing four different roles as he contemplates the defeat of Judah by the Babylonians. Each division of the psalm opens with an address to Jehovah: “O God” (v. 1), “How long, Lord” (v. 5), “O God of our salvation” (v. 9), and “O Lord” (v. 12).
We are still the sheep of His pasture. Do we ask, “How long, O Lord?” How about changing the questions. May we learn to look up from our munching and chewing on His Word to ask, What do YOU want, O Lord?” “What is Your purpose and plan for us as individuals and as Your people together as Your church?”
Then praise Him all day long and into the night for He will answer.
Thank you, Lord. In Jesus Name, Amen. I believe.