When I read Psalm 74 yesterday, I was stumped as to what I wanted to share via SOAP with you. I felt the relevance of the passage, but couldn’t find one verse with hope to share. I like to share hope. I was stumped. And so I sat on it.
This morning I considered skipping over Psalm 74 (and as my cat is sticking her face on mine repeatedly and trying to get me to pet her, I think she might prefer I skip SOAP altogether today, as well.)
Instead I am here. And I will share. And we will ponder this one together. SOAP will be a little different today, and yet the same.
If you don’t have a Bible handy, or if you just like the ease of digital media like I do, click on over to Bible Gateway and read all of Psalm 74.
To me, verse by verse, it can sound pretty bleak at first, and yet it isn’t bleak at all.
The Psalmist is crying out for God to step in, to take control, to wipe out evil and reclaim the sanctuary and world. Sound familiar?
I have been praying some form of this for quite some time… probably starting on September 11, 2001, while I held and nursed my newborn while watching the news in disbelief at first and wondering what would be next.
“Oh Father, please stop this! Stop the evil and show your power and make things right,” or some version of that, was my prayer.
Psalm 74 not only echoes (or actually precedes) those prayers, but it also reminds us of how strong He is. Perhaps this is a lesson in how to pray. Perhaps we are being reminded to call out to Him in our despair and then remember His strength and glory. Perhaps this is a reminder for us of how strong He is and that He WILL step in at the right time, that we need to call on Him and that we need to trust Him and his timing.
13 You divided the sea by your might;
you broke the heads of the sea monsters[d] on the waters.
14 You crushed the heads of Leviathan;
you gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.
15 You split open springs and brooks;
you dried up ever-flowing streams.
16 Yours is the day, yours also the night;
you have established the heavenly lights and the sun.
17 You have fixed all the boundaries of the earth;
you have made summer and winter.
18 Remember this, O Lord, how the enemy scoffs,
and a foolish people reviles your name.
19 Do not deliver the soul of your dove to the wild beasts;
do not forget the life of your poor forever.
20 Have regard for the covenant,
for the dark places of the land are full of the habitations of violence.
21 Let not the downtrodden turn back in shame;
let the poor and needy praise your name.
22 Arise, O God, defend your cause;
remember how the foolish scoff at you all the day!
23 Do not forget the clamor of your foes,
the uproar of those who rise against you, which goes up continually!
You are the ultimate power. You can end this. Please end the evil. Stop the pain. Stop the hurt. Overthrow the enemy, Lord. Help me to have patience where I need it as I wait for this to happen. I love you. I trust you.