Friday, January 20, 2012

Why, O God?

 1O God, why hast thou cast us off for ever? why doth thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture?
 2Remember thy congregation, which thou hast purchased of old; the rod of thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed; this mount Zion, wherein thou hast dwelt.
 3Lift up thy feet unto the perpetual desolations; even all that the enemy hath done wickedly in the sanctuary.
 4Thine enemies roar in the midst of thy congregations; they set up their ensigns for signs.
 5A man was famous according as he had lifted up axes upon the thick trees.
 6But now they break down the carved work thereof at once with axes and hammers.
 7They have cast fire into thy sanctuary, they have defiled by casting down the dwelling place of thy name to the ground.
 8They said in their hearts, Let us destroy them together: they have burned up all the synagogues of God in the land. 

Why, O God?

Few of us have had to experience the grief and frustrations that Asaph, the writer of Psalm 74 faced, crying out, "Why, O God?" After having lived through the glorious reigns of David and Solomon, and having participated in the building of the temple, imagine his despair as he helplessly stood by while men systematically destroyed the temple of God. As a priest of God, seeing the sanctuary of God set on fire was simply unthinkable.

However, these men did more than just destroy the temple, they burned up all the synagogues of God in the land. In other words, this was not just a matter of destroying a building, but rather it was the destruction of the faith in God which had so marked the Israelites as a distinct people of God. Spiritually, they were no better than the nations they had displaced, for they made a mockery of all that God had done for them.

Though we cannot imagine Asaph's grief, we do see the same manifestations of the true heart of man in our world today. Where once we saw churches standing boldly in the name of the Lord, we see churches that barely remain churches at all, making a mockery of the Bible they once professed to believe. Many pulpits are filled with pastors who no longer believe the Word they are called to profess. Rather than holding forth the power of God, these congregations have become mere social organizations useful for networking only.

How can that be? It is important for us to realize that, as Christians, we are called to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). But, what does that mean? While it is true that we cannot save ourselves, it is Christ alone who has done that, God does call us to continually renew our hearts and minds by spending time in His Word. The Christian life that is not growing stronger in faith, is growing weaker!

We must dust off the covers of our Bibles and become people of the Word, while we still have the freedom to do so. Daily quiet times with the Lord are not just luxuries, they are necessities! Then, we must pray for our pastors and teachers that they would boldly proclaim the truths of the Word rather than bowing to the whims of this generation.

Rather than just crying out, "Why, O God?", let us take an active part in maintaining a strong faith in our own lives and in the lives of our families. Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. He will answer the effectual prayers of His righteous children.

God Bless You,

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