TLIC Psalms. April 3. Awake!

Read Psalm 44:17-26. 17All this has come upon us, though we have not forgotten you, and we have not been false to your covenant. 18Our heart has not turned back, nor have our steps departed from your way; 19yet you have broken us in the place of jackals and covered us with the shadow of death. 20If we had forgotten the name of our God or spread out our hands to a foreign god, 21would not God discover this? For he knows the secrets of the heart. 22Yet for your sake we are killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered. 23Awake! Why are you sleeping, O Lord? Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever! 24Why do you hide your face? Why do you forget our affliction and oppression? 25For our soul is bowed down to the dust; our belly clings to the ground. 26Rise up; come to our help! Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love!

David is describing an experience that every Christian, if they are paying attention, has also journeyed through – life’s circumstances changing for the better or the worse, even though our behavior hasn’t changed. When our behaviors grow worse and our circumstances grow worse at the same pace, at least we can make sense of that. But when we have not forgotten God, when we have not turned back or departed from his ways and yet our life seesaws back and forth from blessing to brokenness, from delight to desperation, it is then that we come face to face with the hiddenness of God. The God that would fall asleep in the bottom of the storm tossed boat.

Why? Why is this the covenant Christian’s experience? Why does God seem so distant much of the time? Why must we feel as though we are being rejected by God even when we are not rejecting him? Why is so much of life spent face down in the dust?

For your sake.

This is the psalmist’s revolutionary answer to undeserved suffering. Our defeats, just as much as our victories, advance the kingdom of Christ. God’s silence, just as much as his battle cry, tests our faith. God’s slumber, just as much as his waking up draws us to his steadfast love. For Paul verse 22 was the cry of the hyper-conqueror in Christ (Rom. 8:36).

To live is Christ is to entrust your life in all circumstances to the care of our loving and faithful God who never slumbers or sleeps.

Prayer. Jesus, you are not asleep but often you feel distant. Awake my soul today to your steadfast love.


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