July 9, 2016

Psalm 79:9-10 Help us, O God our Savior,
for the glory of your name;
deliver us and forgive our sins
for your name’s sake.
Why should the nations say,
“Where is their God?”

This is another Psalm from after the destruction of the temple, but it is a step up from Psalm 74, because along with being horrified at the destruction, it asks for forgiveness. Also, it bases that request not on any personal merit, but on God Himself and the honor of His Name. I am reminded of what James had to say. “You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” (James 4:2-3) Both why and how we ask are important. God desires to give us good things, but if we are totally self-centered about it all, we block a great deal of the good He has for us. If we are asking to make us feel good, or important, or better than someone else, the chances that he will grant our request are pretty slim. If we are genuinely asking for the sake of His kingdom and His righteousness, (Matthew 6:33) He is more than delighted to supply more than we could imagine, though He will do it in His way on His schedule. The Psalmist here is both humble and focused on God, but it would be 70 years before the return from captivity, and more years still before the temple was rebuilt. We need to pray with faith, but then leave the schedule in God’s hands. He understands timing better than we do, because He created time and He sees the end from the beginning.

This is certainly spot-on for me right now. Last night’s concert had seven present – and three of those were the performers! However, there was sweet fellowship, and we will see what God accomplished in that time. It is frustrating, humanly speaking, that so many people had specifically told us they were coming, and yet didn’t show up. So far three of those have expressed legitimate reasons, along with apologies, but that doesn’t account for the rest. Similarly, the land next door, for which we have been praying for 18 years, has had the house demolished and bids are going in for dealing with the trees that need to be removed, but we do not have human assurance that the owner will wait for us to come up with the funds to purchase the land, because as it stands right now, those funds won’t be available until September of 2017. This is certainly a test of faith! We need to be careful that our prayers are on the basis of who God is and for the sake of His kingdom and His righteousness, and not simply to make things easier for us or otherwise make us feel good.

Father, thank You for the lessons You teach us, and for Your plans that are far better than anything we could come up with. Help us indeed rest, relax, and rejoice in You, being faithful to do what You desire of us, when and how You direct us, leaving the results in Your hands so that You may receive all the glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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