My thoughts (Sue Robinson):
I really feel the pleading of the people in these verses. It seems as though God has forsaken them in their hour of need. Maybe God needs to be reminded of who they are and what has been promised to them.
In verses 2-9, they are recounting the time when their enemy destroyed the Temple. The enemy damaged everything in the sanctuary; they broke all the ornately carved works, burned up the meeting places, and defiled the temple by putting up their own signs and banners which proclaimed allegiance to their many other gods. Clearly the Temple was in ruins.
Why wasn’t God destroying them? Why did God let this happen?
The rest of the psalm entreats God to remember that God is mighty enough to make mincemeat out of all these invaders! God dried up mighty rivers (vs. 15), prepared the light and the sun (vs. 16), and made the summer and winter (vs. 17). The list of all God’s accomplishments goes on for many verses. Did they think God forgot who God was? Maybe they just need to give God a little encouragement to draw out a mighty sword and slay them all!
My prayers sometimes go like this: “God, I know you are strong enough and powerful enough to make this happen. Please show your power by causing this [whatever this is] to come to pass.” Wow! Did I really say that? Did I think that I could butter God up by flattery? Maybe God had something else and even better in mind for me, but now God’s mind will be changed because I appealed to God’s strong side? How ridiculous of me!
God’s timing and our timing are not the same. And yes, God remembers that God is strong and powerful enough. The little nudges from us will not sway God’s grand scheme of things, but God does want us to honestly bring our needs. We must then have the faith that all things will work out according to God’s plan.
Prayer for the day: God, help me to remember that you know the beginning from the end and you haven’t forgotten that you are in charge! Amen.
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.