Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Learning Devotion from a Non-Devotional Psalm

“But now Thou art far off, and puttest us to confusion, and goest not forth with our armies. Thou makest us to turn back from the adversary, and they which hate us, spoil for themselves. Thou givest us as sheep to be eaten, and dost scatter us among the nations. Thou sellest Thy people without gain, and dost not increase their price. Thou makest us a reproach to our neighbors, a jest and laughing stock to them that are round about us. Thou makest us a proverb among the nations, and a nodding of the head among the people. My confusion is daily before me, and the shame of my face hath covered me, for the voice of the slanderer and rebuker, for the enemy and avenger...Thou hast smitten us down into the place of dragons, and covered us with the shadow of death... our soul is beaten down unto the dust: our belly cleaveth to the ground” (Psalm 44:9-16,19,25, Geneva Bible).

Passages like this don’t find their way into little devotional books or onto calendars. Our song writers don’t put Psalms like this to contemporary tunes. Still, Church, we know days when things seem like this, don’t we? How does the Psalmist approach the Lord on this day? “All this is come upon us, yet do we not forget Thee, neither deal we falsely concerning Thy covenant. Our heart is not turned back: neither our steps gone out of Thy paths” (44:17,18). Faithfulness, Church, come what may. Faithfulness to the One Who leads us toward the goal: the eternal joy of His Presence.

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