My thoughts (Sue Robinson):
There are a lot of complicated and dreary passages in the Bible. Many are hard to hear and even harder to understand. But this psalm is pure praise! You can almost hear the joy in the psalmist’s voice and the smile on his face in the first half of the chapter.
“Who is like you, God? You made the heavens and earth. You put the ocean in its place. You brushed off enemies with a flick of your wrist. You’ve been so good to us, we are walking on air!” I almost expect his feet to leave the ground!
Have you ever been so in awe of God and so amazed at God’s love for you, that these words resonated with you, too? Reading this, we expect the psalm to continue in this wondrous vein. God is assuring David that God will never leave him. God says, “Do you think I would withdraw my holy promise? Would I lie to David and take back the words I have given him?”
But just a few verses later, the tone changes. The writer of the psalm is devastated by God’s seeming abandonment of God’s people. Everything promised has been pulled out from under the psalmist. His home was destroyed, his city left in ruins, his enemies were celebrating their victories. There have been times in our lives where I’m sure most of us feel the same way. A loss of a dear family member, a job jerked away with no rhyme or reason, a home lost to foreclosure, a co-worker spreading lies, or a spouse who wants freedom. All of a sudden, we go from praising God to saying, “Why me, Lord? What have I done to anger you? Are you withdrawing your love from me?”
But just when all seems dire in the psalm, the final words: “Blessed be God, forever and always? Yes, Oh, yes!” No matter what things look like in the natural world, God has never left us! God’s promises are true and unchanging!
Prayer for the day: God, when all seems lost and dark, help me to remember the words and heart of the psalmist: Blessed be God, forever and always! 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.