Text: Psalms 74-76
Sometimes when reading the Bible a verse seems to jump off the page – and sometimes it can seem a bit odd. This one caught my eye, alarming and at the same time rich in imagery:
O God, why do you cast us off forever?
Why does your anger smoke against the sheep of your pasture? (Psalm 74:1)
This Psalm is set during the time of the Babylonian captivity. God’s chosen people are in big trouble. The Babylonians have destroyed Jerusalem, sacked and burned the temple, and taken the people as captives. The words of the Old Testament prophets have made it clear that these horrible circumstances are consequences meted out by God for His people’s sin. The words of this verse express the anguish of being in God’s disfavor. They do not know what we know – that they will be restored. But, it will not be until seventy years have passed, so many of those in exile will not live long enough to see God’s favor fall afresh upon His people. Nowadays, with Jesus’ work on the cross complete, those who are experiencing God’s judgment need never wait. Redemption, forgiveness and restoration are just as far away as the moment it takes to cry out to Jesus. Feeling estranged from God? What are you waiting for?
in Him, Mike