Pay attention to the tension in your body. Let go of it and any expectations to do anything, but God’s will today. Prepare yourself to hear God’s word.
A Psalm of Asaph.
1 O God, the nations have come into your inheritance;
they have defiled your holy temple;
they have laid Jerusalem in ruins.
2 They have given the bodies of your servants
to the birds of the air for food,
the flesh of your faithful to the wild animals of the earth.
3 They have poured out their blood like water
all around Jerusalem,
and there was no one to bury them.
4 We have become a taunt to our neighbors,
mocked and derided by those around us.
5 How long, O Lord? Will you be angry forever?
Will your jealous wrath burn like fire?
6 Pour out your anger on the nations
that do not know you,
and on the kingdoms
that do not call on your name.
7 For they have devoured Jacob
and laid waste his habitation.
8 Do not remember against us the iniquities of our ancestors;
let your compassion come speedily to meet us,
for we are brought very low.
9 Help us, O God of our salvation,
for the glory of your name;
deliver us, and forgive our sins,
for your name’s sake.
10 Why should the nations say,
“Where is their God?”
Let the avenging of the outpoured blood of your servants
be known among the nations before our eyes.
11 Let the groans of the prisoners come before you;
according to your great power preserve those doomed to die.
12 Return sevenfold into the bosom of our neighbors
the taunts with which they taunted you, O Lord!
13 Then we your people, the flock of your pasture,
will give thanks to you forever;
from generation to generation we will recount your praise.
This psalm is authored by Asaph. He was apparently a gifted musician who is credited with writing this and several other psalms. In this psalm, tragedy and horror have occurred. Jerusalem has been reduced to rubble; the dead are so many they cannot be buried in a timely manner. The sorrow pours out and we can almost hear the sad, slow music he might have played along with this song. He cries out, “how long?” How long would they suffer.
We can certainly point to the suffering in the world due to Covid-19 as a tragedy and horror of epic proportion. We have to back one hundred years to recall such a deadly sickness. We, like the psalmist, want to cry out to God for relief. We want to experience joy again rather than much sorrow.
I wonder when it is over will we be able to remember to praise God forever, from generation to generation, for God’s presence in this time of tribulation and trouble. Let us not forget that God is indeed with us. God may not always take away the problem but he is always there with us as we battle.
Dear God we call out our own “how long.” Often we are tired and burdened by this virus and all the consequences. Give us strength to endure and the blessing of feeling your presence with us. Amen.
Go with God!