A Cry in the Dark
O Lord, my God, how wonderful and majestic You are! There is no God like You anywhere!
Read PSALM 89:1-52
 A maskil of Ethan the Ezrahite. I will sing of the LORD’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.  I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you established your faithfulness in heaven itself.  You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to David my servant,  ‘I will establish your line forever and make your throne firm through all generations.'” Selah  The heavens praise your wonders, O LORD, your faithfulness too, in the assembly of the holy ones.  For who in the skies above can compare with the LORD? Who is like the LORD among the heavenly beings?  In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared; he is more awesome than all who surround him.  O LORD God Almighty, who is like you? You are mighty, O LORD, and your faithfulness surrounds you.  You rule over the surging sea; when its waves mount up, you still them.  You crushed Rahab like one of the slain; with your strong arm you scattered your enemies.  The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth; you founded the world and all that is in it.  You created the north and the south; Tabor and Hermon sing for joy at your name.  Your arm is endued with power; your hand is strong, your right hand exalted.  Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you.  Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O LORD.  They rejoice in your name all day long; they exult in your righteousness.  For you are their glory and strength, and by your favor you exalt our horn.  Indeed, our shield belongs to the LORD, our king to the Holy One of Israel.  Once you spoke in a vision, to your faithful people you said: “I have bestowed strength on a warrior; I have exalted a young man from among the people.  I have found David my servant; with my sacred oil I have anointed him.  My hand will sustain him; surely my arm will strengthen him.  No enemy will subject him to tribute; no wicked man will oppress him.  I will crush his foes before him and strike down his adversaries.  My faithful love will be with him, and through my name his horn will be exalted.  I will set his hand over the sea, his right hand over the rivers.  He will call out to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, the Rock my Savior.’  I will also appoint him my firstborn, the most exalted of the kings of the earth.  I will maintain my love to him forever, and my covenant with him will never fail.  I will establish his line forever, his throne as long as the heavens endure.  “If his sons forsake my law and do not follow my statutes,  if they violate my decrees and fail to keep my commands,  I will punish their sin with the rod, their iniquity with flogging;  but I will not take my love from him, nor will I ever betray my faithfulness.  I will not violate my covenant or alter what my lips have uttered.  Once for all, I have sworn by my holiness- and I will not lie to David-  that his line will continue forever and his throne endure before me like the sun;  it will be established forever like the moon, the faithful witness in the sky.” Selah  But you have rejected, you have spurned, you have been very angry with your anointed one.  You have renounced the covenant with your servant and have defiled his crown in the dust.  You have broken through all his walls and reduced his strongholds to ruins.  All who pass by have plundered him; he has become the scorn of his neighbors.  You have exalted the right hand of his foes; you have made all his enemies rejoice.  You have turned back the edge of his sword and have not supported him in battle.  You have put an end to his splendor and cast his throne to the ground.  You have cut short the days of his youth; you have covered him with a mantle of shame. Selah  How long, O LORD? Will you hide yourself forever? How long will your wrath burn like fire?  Remember how fleeting is my life. For what futility you have created all men!  What man can live and not see death, or save himself from the power of the grave? Selah  O Lord, where is your former great love, which in your faithfulness you swore to David?  Remember, Lord, how your servant has been mocked, how I bear in my heart the taunts of all the nations,  the taunts with which your enemies have mocked, O LORD, with which they have mocked every step of your anointed one.  Praise be to the LORD forever! Amen and Amen. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat are some major attributes of God given here?
Initially this psalm reads simply as a celebration of God’s goodness and greatness. The many attributes of God are listed and celebrated. Then we reach v. 38 and everything changes. The psalm proclaimed in the temple courts is now written in the dust of exile. Earlier praise-filled verses, now seared with poignancy, are the agonizing heart cry of God’s people. Has this God, so great and good, broken his promise? I’m struck by this psalm’s power: in the dark night of his soul the psalmist worships, declares God’s greatness; but he also pours out his disillusionment and pain with raw honesty and difficult questions. He finally appeals to God’s faithfulness to his covenant with David, and closes in praise.
We, too, may have uttered such agonized words among unbearable circumstances, failure, frustration and pain. The psalmist offers not answers but words to express our turmoil. Alongside worship and devotion, there is room for honesty, lament and awkward questions in our relationship with God. Through this difficult process the psalmist finds a way to praise God again. When we cry out to God in the dark, perhaps we can embrace his example.
What’s the cry of your heart? Do you have questions or a lament to share with God? If so, talk with God honestly.
Lord God, I thank You that I can be honest with You no matter what I feel and Your love for me won’t change.
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