OBSERVATION: I love this Psalm. "How long, Lord ..." so perfectly captures our longing for God's intervention, and relief from our current fear and anxiety surrounding the pandemic, and other longstanding ordeals, when we doubt God's rescue will ever come. This Psalm captures the poignancy of prayer in difficult circumstances. Attributed to David, I wonder if it reflects his temptation to doubt God's power and willingness to intervene in the ongoing battle with his enemy. There are even hints of God's neglect, or forgetfulness of the Psalmist.
INTERPRETATION: In the Old Testament the "sleep of death" represents the ultimate and permanent separation between God and humans, because in death it was thought one cannot praise God. Therefore the Psalmist is pointing out to God that abandoning him to death would deprive him of the praise due his name, as well as giving David's enemy an opportunity to boast.
APPLICATION: The great thing about Psalms such as this is that they give us permission to be completely open and honest with God, as well as providing language to express exactly what we feel in any circumstance. In this Psalm we even have an example of petition, "Look on me and answer," "Give light to my eyes..."
PRAYER: Lord, we are exhausted by the seemingly neverending ordeals brought to us with the pandemic. We join with David in asking "How long O Lord?" Look at us in our suffering. Give us strength to persevere. Give us grace to remain faithful. We choose to trust in You O Lord, no matter what. We will sing your praises forever Lord, for our hope rests in you. Amen.
HYMN: "It is Well With My Soul"
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.