Wednesday, February 29th
Scripture: Psalm 77
1I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, that he may hear me.
2In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying; my soul refuses to be comforted.
3I think of God, and I moan; I meditate, and my spirit faints. Selah
4You keep my eyelids from closing; I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
5I consider the days of old, and remember the years of long ago.
6I commune with my heart in the night; I meditate and search my spirit:
7“Will the Lord spurn forever, and never again be favorable?
8Has his steadfast love ceased forever? Are his promises at an end for all time?
9Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he in anger shut up his compassion?” Selah
10And I say, “It is my grief that the right hand of the Most High has changed.”
11I will call to mind the deeds of the Lord; I will remember your wonders of old.
12I will meditate on all your work, and muse on your mighty deeds.
13Your way, O God, is holy. What god is so great as our God?
14You are the God who works wonders; you have displayed your might among the peoples.15With your strong arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. Selah 6When the waters saw you, O God, when the waters saw you, they were afraid; the very deep trembled. 17The clouds poured out water; the skies thundered; your arrows flashed on every side. 18The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind; your lightnings lit up the world; the earth trembled and shook.
19Your way was through the sea, your path, through the mighty waters; yet your footprints were unseen. 20You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
This passage can, in my opinion, be viewed in two ways: 1)in the way it was written or 2) in the way we read it. If we are to look at it from the first approach, this psalm was written by someone expressing the personal distress of an ‘all’. It is a petition from a community that also recalls God’s past fidelity to the nation. This is a community that is in distress, but that also draws strength from their memory of God’s mighty works. In verses 11-20 the author is poetically describing the Exodus from Egypt, a time when God’s power was felt even amidst turmoil.
However, if we use the second approach, we can very easily see it’s relevance in our 21st Century, American lives. We are human, and I dare say there isn’t a single one of us who has not suffered, or been in distress, and at least for a moment questioned God’s will. This psalm is a poem of fear, of sadness, and of a poet doing his (or her) best to find hope and faith in a dark time. And despite the author’s seemingly debilitating distress, they do, in fact, find hope. The author finds hope in their memory of God, and so can we in our dark times. God has done great things, therefore God must do great things again. We are all Christians because we have felt God’s love. We have seen God to great things in the world, in our lives, and/or in our hearts. No matter our suffering, deep down we know God’s power. Sometimes we just need to remember it.
Doubt is OK. My theology professor once said: “If someone tells you they have no doubts about this [God], then they are either in denial or insane.”
But like the writer in Psalm 77, despite our doubts and fears, we must remember. Remember love. Remember our deliverance. Remember God.
By Julia Humenik
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