Read Psalm 44:9-16. 9But you have rejected us and disgraced us and have not gone out with our armies. 10You have made us turn back from the foe, and those who hate us have gotten spoil. 11You have made us like sheep for slaughter and have scattered us among the nations. 12You have sold your people for a trifle, demanding no high price for them. 13You have made us the taunt of our neighbors, the derision and scorn of those around us. 14You have made us a byword among the nations, a laughingstock among the peoples. 15All day long my disgrace is before me, and shame has covered my face 16at the sound of the taunter and reviler, at the sight of the enemy and the avenger.
David’s declaration of faith in verses 1-8 takes an unforeseen turn into lament in verse 9-16. God has rejected and disgraced his people. If David is going to give God credit for their success (verses 1-8), he is also going to give God the “blame” for their disaster. This appears to be the cost of having a sovereign God.
Each line is more demoralizing than the last. The God who brought Israel into the promised land, driving out the nations, has now allowed them to be the laughingstock of the nations. Through the ungodly nations God has turned his back on them, scattered them, sold them, scorned them, and shamed them. They are clearly both defeated and demoralized.
It is not impossible for the one whose life is joined to Christ’s to also feel such defeat in this life. Paul experienced the disgrace of the Christian life describing it in vivid detail in 2 Corinthians – We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. Always carrying in the body the death of Jesus.
Such lament should be part of the normal Christian life. God invites our complaint, even our complaint against him. Why? Because he knows that to live is Christ is to live honestly before God in both praise and lament, boast and complaint, for the Christ in us knows how to turn our defeat into his victory.
Prayer. Jesus, I know you have felt this way too. Forsaken. Help me to take my complaint to you and live my life honestly before you. Amen.
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