Then I thought, ‘To this I will appeal: the years when the
Most High stretched out his right hand. I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds’.
Psalm 77:10-12 (NIV)
Read: Psalm 77
Consider: Where do you go when times are hard and it seems as if everything is going wrong for you and that God doesn’t care? I’m not necessarily talking about a physical place, although many people do go on some kind of retreat so that they can regroup and regain their physical and spiritual strength.
In Psalm 77 the anguish and turmoil of the psalmist is recorded in enough detail for us to feel and understand the difficulties he is going through. In Psalm 77:1-4 he says:
I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands, and I would not be comforted. I remembered you, God, and I groaned; I meditated, and my spirit grew faint. You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak.
The psalmist is experiencing great trouble and anguish and this leads him to question the reality of God’s mercy and interest in his life –
‘Will the Lord reject for ever? Will he never show his favour again? Has his unfailing love vanished for ever? Has his promise failed for all time? Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion?’ (77:7-9).
It is only when the psalmist raises his eyes and focusses away from himself that his perspective changes. He does this by remembering ‘… the deeds of the Lord …’ In fact it isn’t just God’s dealings with himself that he remembers, he casts his mind back to what he has learned about God’s dealings with his people since the beginning of time – I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds. Notice that the psalmist says all God’s works and all his mighty deeds.
This is why it is important for us as Christians to spend time reading and meditating on the Old Testament scriptures. While these contain a record of God’s dealings with his people, they also point forward to Christ. If you neglect the Old Testament you will have a very biased view of God.
When next you feel that God is far away and not interested in you and your welfare, take encouragement from the record of God’s dealings with his people. Take time to meditate on all his works and mighty deeds.
Pray: Father, may we think about and meditate upon your providence towards us, but also how you have shown your love and care for your people over the ages. Help us when we are in despair and troubled to experience the peace that passes all understanding. Amen