46 How long, Lord? Will you hide yourself forever?
How long will your wrath burn like fire?
47 Remember how fleeting is my life.
For what futility you have created all humanity!
48 Who can live and not see death,
or who can escape the power of the grave?
49 Lord, where is your former great love,
which in your faithfulness you swore to David?
50 Remember, Lord, how your servant has been mocked,
how I bear in my heart the taunts of all the nations,
51 the taunts with which your enemies, Lord, have mocked,
with which they have mocked every step of your anointed one.
52 Praise be to the Lord forever!
Amen and Amen.
Today’s passage continues the thought from the previous section in which the psalmist accused God of renouncing His covenant with David, and so abandoning His people. I mentioned a few days ago how the psalmist was mistaken, and how we can likewise be mistake regarding the conclusions we might draw about God’s intentions and actions.
But what is real in the psalmist’s plight is his impatience, his longing for the Lord to act. I believe this is a feeling we can relate to. Whether it’s a friend’s illness, or a troubled relationship, or the injustice and immorality we see in the world, we can easily grow impatient for the Lord to act. Why doesn’t He answer our prayers in a more timely fashion? It seems to us that things would be so much better, and even better for the Kingdom of God, if He would only act sooner than later.
I don’t have an explanation for God’s apparent slowness to act. That would take us into the realm of speculation and lead into precisely the type of activity that I warned about when I wrote about the previous section. Ultimately, we can only confess that God is God and we are not.
But I take heart from the fact that psalms such as this are in the Scriptures. God knows that we grow impatient. He knows that we long for the coming of His Kingdom. He knows that we are aching for Christ’s return when He will set all things right. He knows that we are pained by the brokenness of the world that He came to redeem.
And so what can I do with my impatience? Let it move me to prayer. I continue to pray for the things for which I have grown impatient, but I also pray simply “Come Lord Jesus.” By His strength and presence and grace, we are able to bear up under the brokenness of this world. He knows not only our needs and those we bring to Him in prayer; he knows our longing for an answer. So we bring it all to the throne of the One who understands and loves, and we trust in Him.
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