“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!
Your foes have roared in the midst of your meeting place…
They were like those who swing axes
in a forest of trees.
And all its carved wood
they broke down with hatchets and hammers.
They set your sanctuary on fire;
they profaned the dwelling place of your name,
bringing it down to the ground.
They said to themselves, ‘We will utterly subdue them’;
they burned all the meeting places of God in the land…
How long, O God, is the foe to scoff?
Is the enemy to revile your name forever?
Why do you hold back your hand, your right hand?
Take it from the fold of your garment and destroy them!
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 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…
Have regard for the covenant,
for the dark places of the land are full of the habitations of violence…
Arise, O God, defend your cause!” Psalm 74:2-8,10-13,15-17,20,22a
It is never pleasant to choke in the smoke of God’s judgment. It is disheartening, painful, cruel. Every day we encounter effects from the fall in Eden- splinters and crumbles and gut punches from the wrath of God being poured out. In this life we won’t escape the fallout. But we can trust that yet, the Ruler of the ancient skies, the eternal God, is in the midst, working His salvation. (Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalm 46:5; 68:33; Zephaniah 3:17; Romans 1:18-20)
And it is appropriate and right to cry out. For God to remember. To intervene. To act. To defend His cause. When we cry, we are reminded of the One who hears, and who has set boundaries, and knows the victorious end. We gaze at the holy face that looks down with compassion, omniscience, and wisdom. We are calmed by the One whose strong arms uphold us, and are set at peace by His love.
When faced with harsh circumstances, are we more prone to angst and vitriol at the issues and perpetrators, or confident trust in the Sovereign? Do we more readily criticize and complain and castigate, or put to prayer our anger, wants, and fears, and release them to the One who can act, and will, according to His perfect righteousness? Our assessment of things may be accurate either way, but our attitude will be different. Entrusting them to the Lord will stabilize our emotions and set expectation for His glorious intervention.
Lord, make it my regular practice, in every situation, to call to You, recount Your promises, and believe Your causes. Give me eyes to see Your salvation and faith to trust Your goodness. And may I give You the praise You deserve for every answer.