Jan 4 Daily Rhythm
O God, you have rejected us, broken our defenses; you have been angry; oh, restore us. You have made the land to quake; you have torn it open; repair its breaches, for it totters. You have made your people see hard things; you have given us wine to drink that made us stagger. You have set up a banner for those who fear you, that they may flee to it from the bow. That your beloved ones may be delivered, give salvation by your right hand and answer us!
The Church desperately needs to learn to lament. To grieve. To grieve honestly to God. Somehow some of us have begun to believe that it is not ok to hurt. We have begun to think we can’t complain about sorrow. In these verses David complains and he cries out to God for rescue. If you pretend there is nothing wrong, to whom will you cry for rescue?
God has spoken in his holiness: “With exultation I will divide up Shechem and portion out the Vale of Succoth. Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine; Ephraim is my helmet; Judah is my scepter. Moab is my washbasin; upon Edom I cast my shoe; over Philistia I shout in triumph.”
These are powerful historical images. The land was Gods, but Moab, Edom and Philistia were not a part of God’s land. God claims ownership here over all of it and declares his right to use it all as he wishes. Does God’s ownership of all things bring you comfort today? Does it trouble you? Ask that as a subject of the king he would help you to rest in his power and rightful claim to all things.
Who will bring me to the fortified city? Who will lead me to Edom? Have you not rejected us, O God? You do not go forth, O God, with our armies. Oh, grant us help against the foe, for vain is the salvation of man! With God we shall do valiantly; it is he who will tread down our foes.
Do you seek power? Do you seek victory? Do you want to be right? Or do you want the presence of God? As you prepare to rest tonight, do so knowing this: His presence that he promises is more valuable than all the rest.