By Janice Lewis
July 13, 2020
Passages of the day: Click HERE to read today’s passages.
1 Chronicles 15:1-16:36
'Why do You stand afar off, O Lord? Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble?’ (Psalm 10: 1)
Psalm 10 is a psalm of lament- as a noun: a song expressing a passionate expression of grief or sorrow, mourning. According to some scholars, ‘time of trouble’ in Hebrew was a rare word used only here and in Psalm 9:9; translated as ‘a cutting off of hope of deliverance, despair.’
This Psalm is also considered a song of complaint- now that sounds familiar in today’s climate. As the psalmist, I too, complain about the wickedness that surrounds us- in the hearts of men and in my own heart.
I wonder where God is sometimes, why isn’t He healing our world of this vicious virus, why is there so much hatred in the hearts of His children, so much divisiveness in our country and bewilderment in mine??
God is not far off, we are turning our heads in the wrong direction.
‘God’s withdrawings are very grievous to His people, especially in times of trouble. We stand afar off from God by our unbelief, and then complain that God stands afar off from us. Passionate words against bad men do more hurt than good; if we speak of their badness, let it be to the Lord in prayer; He can make them better.’ (Matthew Henry’s concise Bible Commentary)
Now, that hits home! I was convicted, in recent years especially, that if I sincerely prayed for the men or women who I complained about, I personally would have a peaceful and compassionate spirit towards them, and more hope for the future, by turning over God’s work to Him.
As I was cleaning out our attic (my go-to SIP activity), I came across my pre-teen and teenage diaries. Well, after several hours of reading through them, I was struck by not only entries of childhood adventures, but of sadness and complaint.
‘December 24,1958 (11 years old)
It is Christmas Eve and Daddy is very sick. (My father had a stroke)
I am very, very worried. I hope he awakes in the morning. If he does, I’ll be good every year and never pout or cry over silly things….’
January 27, 1959
Today was nice because there will be no more “until Daddy comes home”. He is home!
May 21, 1960
I’m afraid there’s going to be a war with Russia, so if this is my last entry you know why.
And then after years and years of “I wish I had a boyfriend.”
July 30, 1963
Joyce got the car and we went to Karen’s house. Pat Lewis phoned and asked me to go out-??!!-
December 30, 1964
Pat came over tonight. I hope our relationship will grow and flourish into something beautiful.’
Four years later we were married, and next month we’ll be celebrating our 52nd anniversary. There have been a lot of highs and lows, but I can say
with confidence, that it has ‘flourished into something beautiful’.
Today, we both look to a Heavenly Father for our strength and hope.
‘Lord, why do You stand so far away? Why do You hide in times of trouble?’
The question we should be asking is, “When will God take action? …because we know God’s character and His past actions, we can have confidence that He will bring justice at the right time….pray in faith…..we can be certain that God doesn’t miss a thing and has set the timer for when He will intervene.” (The Tony Evans Study Bible)
But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted;
you consider their grief and take it in hand.
The victims commit themselves to you;
you are the helper of the fatherless.
— Psalm 10:14
Prayer to start with: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your watchful eye and compassionate ear that sees and hears us when we are feeling overwhelmed with the sorrows of this world. Fill us with confidence in knowing that You are planning the way for a peaceful life today, and preparing the way for a glorious one forever!