Saturday, March 30, 2013

Where Is Your God?



Scripture:

Psa. 42:1 As a deer longs for flowing streams,
        so my soul longs for you, O God.
Psa. 42:2     My soul thirsts for God,
        for the living God.
    When shall I come and behold
        the face of God?
Psa. 42:3     My tears have been my food
        day and night,
    while people say to me continually,
        “Where is your God?”

Psa. 42:9      ¶ I say to God, my rock,
        “Why have you forgotten me?
    Why must I walk about mournfully
        because the enemy oppresses me?”
Psa. 42:10     As with a deadly wound in my body,
        my adversaries taunt me,
    while they say to me continually,
        “Where is your God?”
 
Psa. 42:11      ¶ Why are you cast down, O my soul,
        and why are you disquieted within me?
    Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
        my help and my God.


Observation:

The Psalmist was overcome with a desire to be in the very presence of God.  His soul longed for the quenching waters of sitting in God's presence, seeking his face.  But it was a time when things simply weren't going his way and the world would look at him and ask, "Where is your God?"  It was a dark day of wandering as the world mocked him in his losses.  He was mournful and oppressed and the world shouted at him, "Where is your God?"  He realized that he was giving in to the voices of the world and the sadness and depression were closing in around him.  In that moment of darkness he recognized the need to seek the face of God.  Yes, there is hope in God.  Yes, we can praise him.  Yes, he has helped in the past and he will help again.  Yes, I will choose to praise him, for he is my God!

Application:

Today is that strange day of quiet between Good Friday and Easter Sunday morning.  We all know the story so we know what it is that we will be celebrating tomorrow but today -- where are we today?  The Psalmist had experienced a great number of those "in-between" days.  There were the highs and the lows of physically being a soldier and winning and losing battles.  When he won it sure felt good.  But there were periods of time when he had to go and hide just to remain alive.  He was taunted by his enemies who teased him "Where is your God?"

This "in-between" day is such a moment for the disciples.  Can't you imagine how they felt that day.  The world taunting, "Where is your King?"  And they knew where he was.  He had died the night before and now his body was in a tomb.  What were they going to do?  Somehow that message that he was going to be raised on the third day had escaped them and they were thrown into utter despair.  I'm not sure that they could get to the point of the Psalmist who said, "Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God."  I don't think they could see the hope of God that day. 

There are days when we too walk around wondering about the hope of God.  To be quite honest the thorough lashing that Christianity has been receiving lately has been quite depressing.  Friends around me ask about the future of the Church.  What's going to happen?  Will we be living in a post-Church society? 

Maybe we are simply living in that "in-between" day where the world looks at us and says, "Where is your God?"  But we know that this day doesn't last for long because Sunday is coming.  The Psalmist, even in the midst of his despair knew that all he had to do was look for God.  His hope was still in God.  He knew that he needed to praise God.  He knew he needed to seek the face of God.  And that's the point.  It may be a dark day, but we need to continue to seek the face of God for we know that our God is not dead!  Our God, Jesus Christ, is risen from the dead and tomorrow we will celebrate that victory. 

In the meantime, we can't allow ourselves to be distracted by the taunts of the world.  Our responsibility is to continually seek the face of God.  When seek him, we WILL find him.  The disciples found that to be true as well!

Prayer:

Lord, thank you for your faithfulness throughout all generations and in the ones to come.  Please, help us to be a people who will continually seek your face.  Amen.

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