Sunday, 12 December 2021
“Do not let the oppressed, retreat in disgrace; may the poor and needy praise your name.” -Psalm 74:21
This Psalm is penned by Asaph at the time of great affliction, supposedly at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple by king Nebuchadnezzar and his Chaldean army. He was pleading with God, taking the matter before Him in prayer. Israel was facing God’s anger due to their sin and idolatry. The LORD was patient for years but found no repentance in them; they finally faced the wrath due to their hardened heart. If you fall into sinful ways, remember-God is merciful to forgive, if you truly repent and turn from it. But for the one who continues in ways displeasing to God – only judgment awaits—the Psalm is a reminder!
The Psalm can be viewed in 3 parts: (i) Vs.1 -the author first highlights the relationship that they had with God-Sheep of your pasture (ii) Vs.3 -he then laments the pathetic state that they are into- everlasting ruins (iii) Vs.13-15- he projects the great things that God has done for them.
When devastation by the enemy continues for long, one might think that it is never-ending – but if we turn to God in repentance, God will avenge His elect! We read in Vs.8 that every trace of worship in Jerusalem was burnt. We too face similar struggles in our day. The devil tries to execute his plan very carefully to wipe out the truths and principles in God’s Word upon which man is called to live. It is very evident in institutions where our next generation is targeted. When the Scripture reveals God created man –text books project the theory of evolution (Man evolved from monkey). How pathetic! The very foundations of God’s Word upon which family and society are to be built on are no longer accepted norms by many in our world today.
It’s time for each of us, in our capacity as God’s children to stand for the truth in times when God’s truths are challenged. History shows that all who raised their powers against God and His Word have vanished – all gone with the wind! The final victory is with our Lord Jesus Christ.
It may seem to us that God’s intervention on our behalf is delayed and we might become impatient. Remember delay is not denial! What we see as slow pace may be the apt timing from God’s perspective. Hence we should never give up on God. In times of distress, think about the great and mighty things that God has done for His elect; the divine intervention that you have experienced in your own life before. This will help you to have a firm belief that God is ALWAYS at work in your life. But the condition is- Never harden your heart against God’s commands and corrections.
Even if you feel that your life is in ruins like the state of Jerusalem in this Psalm, do not give up. The Lord can turn things around as you trust Him. God is at constant watch over your life to help and to build you up so that Christ will be reflected through your life!
Promise: “Indeed, He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. ” (Psalm 121:4)