Wednesday July 14, 2021

Today’s Reading: Psalm 79

We have become an object of reproach to our neighbors, a source of mockery and ridicule to those around us.

Psalm 79:4

Reflection: “How long LORD?” the psalmist asks. How long must the people be subject to ridicule and scorn? How long must they be preyed upon by other nations? Will the LORD allow this punishment to last forever? Here, the psalmist is crying out to God during a time in Israel’s captivity. Because the people have rejected God, they are now experiencing firsthand what life is like without Him. They are discovering now the extent to which God had protected them, preserved them, and provided for them. They are beginning to understand the relationship with God that they had taken for granted. During this time of great trial, the psalmist recalls the goodness of the LORD and turns back to seek Him. Having become an object of reproach to others, he seeks God’s mercy. Having witnessed devastation in the land, the psalmist desires restoration in relationship with God. In his weakness he seeks the LORD’s strength. In a place of danger and suffering, he confesses his need for God’s salvation.

The psalmist has lived and discovered the tragedy of being like other nations, like those who do not seek God. There are people who willingly dismiss their need for the LORD and live as their own strength and shield, but the psalmist has seen enough to know that the LORD is the only One Who can bring true deliverance. Punishment here is helpful. By it, God grants His mercy. For He knows that without Him, the people would be left to die. So it is with us also. When we begin to stray, the LORD’s punishment shows us our need for Him. It is purposed to keep us from becoming utterly lost and teaches us to recall what God has done for out of His goodness. When we stray far from the LORD, what a blessing it is that even then He seeks us. He is good to prompt us to return to the safety of His fold.

Prayer: Almighty God, You are loving and merciful. Even when I stray, You are gracious to call after me. You are good, LORD, to not only bless me and provide for me, but to also correct me in order to strengthen my faith in You. Thank You for always providing all that I truly need to spiritually flourish and thrive for Your glory. Please keep me near to You, LORD. Help me to serve You faithfully and trust You in all situations. I want to remain faithful to You. All of these things I pray in the Name of Jesus Christ, Your Son. AMEN.

Bible-in-a-Year Reading Plan (credit: Bible, John 14:15-31; 2 Chronicles 21:2-22:12; Psalm 79