1 God, why have you turned your back on us for so long? Why are you so angry with us? We are your very own sheep. 2 Remember the nation that you chose as your own so long ago. Remember that you set us free from slavery to be your very own people. Remember Mount Zion, where you lived. 3 Walk through this place that has been torn down beyond repair. See how completely your enemies have destroyed the temple! 4 In the place where you used to meet with us, your enemies have shouted, “We’ve won the battle!” They have set up their flags to show they have beaten us. 5 They acted like people cutting down a forest with axes. 6 They smashed all the beautiful wooden walls with their axes and hatchets. 7 They burned your temple to the ground. They polluted the place where your Name is. 8 They had said in their hearts, “We will crush them completely!” They burned every place where you were worshiped in the land. 9 We don’t get signs from God anymore. There aren’t any prophets left. None of us knows how long that will last. 10 God, how long will your enemies make fun of you? Will they attack you with their words forever? 11 Why don’t you help us? Why do you hold back your power? Use your strong power to destroy your enemies! 12 God, you have been my king for a long time. You are the only God who can save anyone on earth. 13 You parted the waters of the Red Sea by your power. You broke the heads of that sea monster in Egypt. 14 You crushed the heads of the sea monster Leviathan. You fed it to the creatures of the desert. 15 You opened up streams and springs. You dried up rivers that flow all year long. 16 You rule over the day and the night. You created the sun and the moon. 17 You decided where the borders of the earth would be. You made both summer and winter. 18 Lord, remember how your enemies have made fun of you. Remember how foolish people have attacked you with their words. 19 Don’t hand over Israel, your dove, to those wild animals. Don’t forget your suffering people forever. 20 Honor the covenant you made with us. Horrible things are happening in every dark corner of the land. 21 Don’t let your suffering people be put to shame. May those who are poor and needy praise you. 22 God, rise up. Stand up for your cause. Remember how foolish people make fun of you all day long. 23 Pay close attention to the shouts of your enemies. The trouble they cause never stops.
The writer of this Psalm is in deep despair and complains that God has allowed the enemy to come and wreak destruction on all that was precious to His people. He is essentially saying, NOT FAIR God, how could you do that to us?
As a younger person I had the mistaken belief that I would be exempt from catastrophes because of my faith in God’s protection. I now know that this is not the whole picture!
In John 16:33 Jesus said this to His disciples, “I’ve told you all this so that trusting Me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world”
Right. So I don’t have to like it, but I shouldn’t be too surprised when difficulties come. But I love Jesus’ words, …”so that trusting Me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace”.
Jesus, I thank you for the peace even in the middle of the most difficult times that comes from knowing that You have overcome the world. One day I will wake from this life to find all that is broken has been made new.
Written by Shelley Witt