May 17, 2023 - Psalms 43-47
May I continue some thoughts from yesterday’s reading? The thoughts have to do with validation, approval, and vindication. All through these psalms, we read:
The righteous “take refuge in him” (37:40).
“For you, O Lord, do I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer” (38:15).
“I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry” (40:1).
“You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God!” (40:17)
“Hope in God” (42:11).
The psalmist cries, “Vindicate me, O God . . . For you are the God in whom I take refuge . . . I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God. Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God” (43:1-5).
Some will take note of their personal problems and challenges and will major on perceived slights to themselves or mistreatments of one sort or another. The danger is that we become so consumed (maybe even enamored with?) by our disappointments that we sink more and more deeply into despair. Yesterday, I wrote about waiting upon God and looking for his approval above that of other people. Through the psalmist, today, the Lord says to us, “’Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!’ The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress” (46:10-11).
We may not climb the heavenly steeps
to bring the Lord Christ down;
in vain we search the lowest deeps,
for him no depths can drown:
But warm, sweet, tender, even yet
a present help is he;
and faith has still its Olivet,
and love its Galilee.
The healing of his seamless dress
is by our beds of pain;
we touch him in life’s throng and press,
and we are whole again. -- John Greenleaf Whittier (1866)