“O God, why do you cast us off forever?
Why does your anger smoke against the sheep of your pasture?
Remember your congregation, which you have purchased of old,
which you have redeemed to be the tribe of your heritage!
Remember Mount Zion, where you have dwelt.
Direct your steps to the perpetual ruins;
the enemy has destroyed everything in the sanctuary!
Yet God my King is from of old,
working salvation in the midst of the earth.
You divided the sea by your might;
you broke the heads of the sea monsters on the waters.
You crushed the heads of Leviathan;
you gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.
You split open springs and brooks;
you dried up ever-flowing streams.
Yours is the day, yours also the night;
you have established the heavenly lights and the sun.
You have fixed all the boundaries of the earth;
you have made summer and winter.
Arise, O God, defend your cause!” Psalm 74:1-3,12-17,22
Ruin, separation, opposition, violence, loss. The psalmist appeals to the One who had purchased His people from of old to belong to Him forever. Do You not see the hurt, the ruin, the devastation of what we have built, the interruption to our worship, the seemingly endless scoffing and reviling of God Himself, the downtrodden situation of the poor? Surely You can remember our situation and rise up!
Yes, the same One who has chosen and secured His people from of old, who has known us by name since before we were born and numbers every one of our days, is the One who is still our King, whose cause is righteous and redemptive and whose power is great. He works salvation in the midst of destruction, splits our darkness with light, crushes our enemies as our Defender and Captain, establishes unshakable hope in despair, and sets limits for our pain and trials. (Psalm 90:2; 139:13-16; 1 Peter 5:10)
Do I choose to dwell on the temporal difficulties, losses, conflicts, of my present situation, or take in the eternal vastness of my King from of old, who is infinite King forever, very present in the here and now but beyond man’s time in the working sweep of His good and glorious cause? From beginning to end He reigns! Will I appeal to Him in my troubles, and submit my trust to His broad rule, His limitless might, His all-encompassing plan? (1 Peter 4:12-13; 2 Peter 3:8-9)
Our hope need not be in a specific end, but can be grounded and comforting when fixed in the King from of old, and the fact that He has divine cause, and will surely defend and perform it. When we dictate our desired results, or assume our own ends and rights, we will likely be disappointed. But when we allow the psalm of our hearts and our reasonable cry to be shaped by the character and immovable will of God, we can be at peace. He who is of old brings new mercies every day to awaken stronger trust in Him. (Lamentations 3:23)
O King, I bow as Your subject. Help me believe that You know the beginning and are writing the end, and all will be accomplished to Your glory and praise. (Revelation 1:8; 4:8,11)