September 21, 2019

September 21, 2019

September 21, 2019
Psalm 79:1-9
by Becky Hall
Laity of Christ UMC (Chattanooga, TN)
Scenic South District

This psalm appears to have been written while God’s people were taken captive in Babylon. God had told Israel that He was going to remove His protection from them because they refused to repent from worshiping other gods. They are reaping the rewards for their unrepentant hearts. There were laws established by God for the people, yet they saw ways to bend and twist them to their advantage until they hardly resembled their original meaning any more. They blatantly disobeyed God's laws, and even though God warned them repeatedly by His prophets, the warnings fell on deaf ears. Finally, God's judgment against His own people did come. These verses tell of the rampant murder and destruction brought upon them by their enemies. Even God's faithful people among the Israelites received His judgment along with the unfaithful.

The Psalmist does not seem to know that God was listening to the prayers of His people and He would soon deliver them from captivity. God heeded the prayer of the Psalmist.  ”Do not remember against us the iniquities of our ancestors; let your compassion come speedily to meet us, for we are brought very low.” Psalm 79:8 The Psalmist displays for us a heart that is truly repentant. 

We are a very indignant people.  Laws are established to keep order and yet we find ways to bend them to our advantage. We should follow the example of the Psalmist and examine our own hearts. As Christians, when confronted with our wrongs, our response should be to repent and seek out God’s forgiveness and grace.  He is the one that can erase our sin, replace it with a new and clean heart.

Life poses many difficult times when we, like Asaph, are prone to question God. We are tempted, when we do not understand God's lack of help in our lives, to question His motives. Sometimes we feel like the Lord is not listening to us. We want an expedient answer to our prayers. We tend to view God as One who should be there when we need Him, but One who does not require too much of us at other times. We do not want Him to interfere with our lives, but He must be there when difficult times come, and He must respond exactly as we think best.

But do not grow weary in your prayers because the Lord is listening. He will never abandon us.  So, when the unthinkable happens, let us remember to look to God for our Hope, and to guide us through the dark valleys and bring us back into His light!