Effective or popular, but rarely both


Psalm 89: 49 Lord, where is your steadfast love of old, which by your faithfulness you swore to David? 50 Remember, O Lord, how your servant is taunted; how I bear in my bosom the insults of the peoples,51 with which your enemies taunt, O Lord, with which they taunted the footsteps of your anointed. 52 Blessed be the Lord forever. Amen and Amen. 

God’s people are having a hard time. They are attacked by other nations – and losing ground. The writer of this psalm has heard of the stories of old, how God led the Hebrews from Egypt to the Promised Land. But at the time of the writing it is many years later and there appears to be no sign of God. This morning I’m particularly drawn to v.50:

 “50 Remember, O Lord, how your servant is taunted; how I bear in my bosom the insults of the peoples…”

I find two things interesting here. First, the psalmist laments having to “bear in my bosom the insults of the peoples”. To which people do you believe he’s referring? Immediately my mind goes to the people from other nations who are attacking, but I realize this is not necessarily the case. He refers to “your anointed” in v.51 which connects to David in v.49. King David was indeed God’s anointed who did have to bear burdens from without Israel and within. His own sons tried to usurp his throne for goodness sake! If David is the point of reference, the writer might easily be referring to fellow Israelites bringing pressure and accusation against their leaders in a time of distress.

If you’re a leader in any capacity during Covid time you can probably relate. Challenge doesn’t just come from outside, but from within as well – within your own family, your own business, your own school, your own workplace, and so on. As leaders you are regularly having to make decisions that may be unpopular, even if it’s the right thing to do. There’s a saying that as a leader you can either choose to be effective or popular – but rarely both.

God had been leading Israel through a time of repentance and returning to the Lord. It was a time of genuine pain and struggle for the Israelites. Yet out of this season came an entirely new kind of Messiah who would be for all people, not just Israel. His name is Jesus and he gave his life for you and me. Not only that, he sent the Holy Spirit to accompany us in times like this – times of hardship and pain and grief. I honestly believe these are birthing pains of something wonderful emerging for our future. Hold on brothers and sisters! Lean on the Lord who is faithful and merciful and full of love for you. Lord let it be so. Amen.

One thought on “Effective or popular, but rarely both

  1. Lyn Roger Zastrow

    In a society that is turning more secular, and people are worshiping government instead of God, we need to have a “something wonderful emerging”. Because I have NO faith in government after being lied to over and over again. Government isn’t the solution; my relationship with God through His son is!

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