Psalm 74: 20 Have regard for your covenant, for the dark places of the land are full of the haunts of violence. 21 Do not let the downtrodden be put to shame; let the poor and needy praise your name. 22 Rise up, O God, plead your cause; remember how the impious scoff at you all day long. 23 Do not forget the clamor of your foes, the uproar of your adversaries that goes up continually.
Here the psalmist is lifting up a complaint to God – though it may not sound like it. Israel was in covenant with God, meaning they shared an identity together. The two became one beginning with Abraham. What belonged to God belonged to Israel and vice-versa.
An important dynamic of covenant between God and Israel was protection. As Israel worshipped God alone, God was expected to protect Israel from enemies who were not in relationship to God and who did not honor the commandments, the ordinances, the ways of God. Apparently this was not happening at the time of this psalm. The author is essentially saying, “What the heck God?!”
It’s a problem as old as God and people. There are times when God doesn’t seem to be holding up his end of the bargain. Injustice rules, the righteous suffer and the wicked prosper. God has a way of rectifying these situations in the long run, but in the short term it’s painful.
There’s a lot of pain right now for believers and unbelievers alike. Including me. I get that all things will be made right in the end, but some of us need relief right now. So what do you say God? We’re your people and we need a break. Most of the people I meet in person and otherwise are essentially walking wounded. We’re still showing up, but we’re drained on the inside, running on fumes. Give us grace to weather this storm. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.