Summer in the psalmsJune 14–June 18
MONDAY, JUNE 14
“Why, O Lord, do you stand far away? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?”
Psalm 10:1 (ESV)
When You Can’t Seem to Find God: Does God Hide?
“God’s tender heart must often ache listening to our sad, complaining cries”, writes Mrs. Charles E. Cowman. She continues, “Our weak impatient hearts cry out because we fail to see through our tear-blinded, shortsighted eyes that it is for our own sakes that He does not answer at all or that He answers in a way we believe is less than the best. In fact, the silences of Jesus are as eloquent as His approval and His way of providing a deeper blessing for you.” She concludes in another place, “Oh, if only we would worry less about our problems and sing and praise more!” (Streams in the Desert, Mrs. Charles E. Cowman)
In Psalm 10, David begins with questions and complaints for God. His big four questions are “Does God Hide?” “Does God Hear?” “Does God See?” and “Does God Help?” And although this psalm begins with questions, it is called “A Song of Confidence in God’s Triumph over Evil.” David is being honest with the Lord, and when a man or woman vents or is honest with God about the way they are feeling or thinking, you never see a rebuke in the scriptures. Because he has taken his complaint to the Lord, the Lord will now hear him and change his heart and mind bringing it inline with His heart and mind.
C.S. Lewis once said, “reading Psalm 10 is like throwing open the door of an oven that is set to 500 degrees – you immediately get hit full in the face with the heat of the psalmist’s fury.” One of the most difficult things to deal with in life as a believer in Christ is when you go through trials, testings, and difficulties and it seems like the Lord is nowhere to be found. Ultimately, these trials build our confidence in God’s faithfulness.
Take Mrs. Cowan’s advice to worry less and sing and praise more. Praise God for not being afraid of your questions. Praise God for having a plan even when you can’t see it.
TUESDAY, JUNE 15
He says in his heart, “God has forgotten, He has hidden His face, He will never see it.”
Psalm 10:11 (ESV)
When You Can’t Seem to Find God: Does God See?
Once upon a time in their marriage, Saul Rosenberg did something really stupid. Ethel Rosenberg chewed him out for it. He apologized, they made up. However, from time to time, Ethel would mention what he had done. “Honey,” Saul finally said one day, “why do you keep bringing that up? I thought your policy was ‘forgive and forget.'” “It is,” Ethel said. “I just don’t want you to forget that I’ve forgiven and forgotten.”
The wicked man described in Psalm 10 concluded that God had forgotten about His people and couldn’t see what was happening to them. We would expect a nonbeliever to make a conclusion like that. The problem is when believers start to feel forgotten by God. In those moments, we may even question the omniscience (God knows everything) of God and the wisdom of God.
Knowing God’s character and history is vital when it comes to navigating difficult seasons of life. When have you felt overlooked by God? Read Psalm 139 as a reminder of God’s detailed knowledge of your life.
Praise God for the promises of Psalm 139. Ask God to continually remind you of who He is and what you mean to Him.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 16
“But You do see, for You note mischief and vexation, that You may take it into Your hands;
to You the helpless commits himself; You have been the helper of the fatherless”
Psalm 10:14 (ESV)
When You Can’t Seem to Find God: Yes, God Sees
Back in the 1800’s there was a famous tightrope walker named “Blondin.” In 1859, he made his first crossing of Niagara Falls on a rope 1100 feet long, 160 feet above the water. He would go on to cross the falls many times doing different types of tricks – riding a bicycle, walking blindfolded, even stopping once to cook an omelet. The most daring attempt came when he announced he would cross with another person on his shoulders. The only person to take up his offer was his manager, Harry Colcord. It was a harrowing nightmare. Colcord had to get off his shoulders six times while Blondin rested to gather his strength. But they made it.
Most of us have never literally walked across a tightrope or muchless been carried across a tightrope. But God has carried all of us through difficult and frightening times. David starts to answer some of his own questions in Psalm 10:14. His first answer is yes, God does see when His people suffer. And God takes the matter into His “hands.” David notes that God is also our “helper” in those difficult times.
In the passage above, the helpless commits himself to God. Our part is to commit to God. Are there any areas where you have concerns but you have not committed them to God?
Philippians 4:19 says, “And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” God sees and knows your needs. God wants to supply all of your needs. Thank God for His promise to supply what you need.
THURSDAY, JUNE 17
“O Lord, You hear the desire of the afflicted;
You will strengthen their heart; You will incline your ear”
Psalm 10:17 (ESV)
When You Can’t Seem to Find God: Yes, God Hears!
A man who joined a monastery where the monks were only allowed to speak two words every five years. At the end of five years they were given an audience and could utter their two words. At the end of the man’s first five years, the novice monk simply said, “Bed hard.” At the end of the tenth year, the same monk said, “Food bad.” Then at the end of the fifteenth year his two words were, “I quit.” In response, the head monk said, “I’m not surprised you’ve done nothing but complain ever since you came here.”
There are times in our lives when we feel like God is not listening to our complaints. In Psalm 10:17, David answers his own question from earlier in the passage and concludes, “O Lord, You hear the desire of the afflicted.” Even though the afflicted clearly felt unheard for a time, David assures us that God is not hard of hearing. Later, in Psalm 34:17, David writes, “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.”
Have you cried out to God for help? If so, rest assured and let your heart be strengthened knowing that God hears and God will help. If you have not cried out to God for help, do it now.
Thank God for listening to your heart’s desires. Praise Him for His promise to give you strength.
FRIDAY, JUNE 18
“to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.”
Psalm 10:18 (ESV)
When You Can’t Seem to Find God: Yes, He Will Do Justice!
One day, a bus driver went to the bus garage, started his bus, and drove off along the route. No problems for the first few stops-a few people got on, a few got off, and things went generally well. At the next stop, however, a big hulk of a guy got on. Six feet eight, built like a wrestler, arms hanging down to the ground. He glared at the driver and said, “Big John doesn’t pay!” and sat down at the back. The driver was five feet three, thin, and basically meek. Naturally, he didn’t argue with Big John. The next day the same thing happened, Big John got on again, made a show of refusing to pay, and sat down. And the next day, and the one after that, and so forth.
Finally the driver could no longer stand it. He signed up for body building courses and karate. By the end of the summer he was ready. So on the next Monday, when Big John once again got on the bus and said, “Big John doesn’t pay!,” the driver stood up, glared back at the passenger, and screamed, “And why not?” With a surprised look on his face, Big John replied, “Big John has bus pass.”
Life is full of all types of bullies. Psalm 10 concludes by telling us that one day God will deal with all the bullies and injustices of this life. When David writes God will “do justice,” He is saying, “God will do the right thing at the right time.”
Where do you feel justice is not being served in your life? Be assured God has not abandoned you and is right there beside you. Romans 8:38–39 reminds us, “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Praise God for His promise of justice. Thank God for His promise to let nothing come between you and His love.