Sunday, June 19, 2011

Praying the Psalms- Psalm 74

Jenny is on a journey of praying her way through the Psalms.  I was fortunate enough to join at the start.  Each weekend, we pray through one psalm and post our prayer and/or meditations on that psalm as the Lord leads. Check out her journey and join us in Praying the Psalms.

"Your foes roared in the place where you met with us; 
   they set up their standards as signs. 
They behaved like men wielding axes 
   to cut through a thicket of trees. 
They smashed all the carved paneling 
   with their axes and hatchets. 
They burned your sanctuary to the ground; 
   they defiled the dwelling place of your Name. 
They said in their hearts, “We will crush them completely!” 
   They burned every place where God was worshiped in the land."  Psalm 74: 4-8
"The God of Israel is the God of nature. He that is faithful to his covenant about the day and the night, will never cast off those whom he has chosen. We have as much reason to expect affliction, as to expect night and winter. But we have no more reason to despair of the return of comfort, than to despair of day and summer. And in the world above we shall have no more changes."  Matthew Henry Precise Commentary on the Bible, Psalm 74

These are hard words.  God's people have often suffered bitterly.  We can see this played out in Israel's history.  And we too can expect pain, suffering and affliction in our lives in this fallen world.   Jesus told us the same when He was with us.  

In midst of our pain and our sorrow, we can cry out to Him honestly.  
"How long will the enemy mock you, O God?
   Will the foe revile your name forever?
Why do you hold back your hand, your right hand?
   Take it from the folds of your garment and destroy them!"  Psalm 74: 10-11
And we would do well for ourselves if we soon remember who He is, what He has done, what He can do and what He will do for us.  We can lament, yes.  We can weep bitterly.  But when we return to who He is and grab hold of our eternal perspective, we receive His comfort and strength to bear the pain.
"But you, O God, are my king from of old;
   you bring salvation upon the earth.
It was you who split open the sea by your power;
   you broke the heads of the monster in the waters.
It was you who crushed the heads of Leviathan
   and gave him as food to the creatures of the desert.
It was you who opened up springs and streams;
   you dried up the ever flowing rivers.
The day is yours, and yours also the night;
   you established the sun and moon.
It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth;
   you made both summer and winter."  Psalm 74: 12-17
Father, I pray for those in my circle of family and friends who are in the midst of suffering, pain, loneliness and despair today.  You know each by name and love them with an indescribable love.  I ask You Lord to hear their cries and laments.  I pray that each would surrender their pain to You and receive Your comfort and strength.  For myself, Lord, I pray You would continue to build me up in truths such as these so that when trouble rears it head again in my life, I will remember to give you my pain and sorrow and receive Your comfort and strength in return.  In Jesus' name, amen.   

1 comment:

Jenny said...

Oh Natalie, this is very moving. Thank you for sharing your heart through meditating on this Psalm.


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