Following is a guest post by Dr. David Wells
That God is faithful is a constant refrain in Scripture. That he seems not to be is an experience that many have also known,including this psalmist.
God had promised that David’s throne would be occupied "for all generations" (v. 4; II Sam. 7:5-16) and, indeed, forever (vv. 4, 28, 29, 36, 37). God fulfilled this promise. Christ now occupies that throne.
And yet, despite the fact that the psalmist had begun with an almost lyrical reflection on the "steadfast love of the Lord" (v. 1), he then plunged into despair. In the midst of some national crisis, he concluded that God had rejected his people (v. 38), renounced the covenant (v. 39), and elevated their foes (v. 42)! "How long, O Lord? Will you hide yourself forever?" (v. 46).
It is ever thus. We are fallen and fragile people! But as variable as we might be, given to this mood and to that, God is utterly steadfast and in him "there is no variation or shadow due to change" (Jas. 1:17). When we are tempted to doubt this, or imagine that God has abandoned us, it is the coming of Christ that should put all such thoughts to flight. Indeed, "all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory" (II Cor. 1:20).
Thanks for posting these aptly written thoughts, Chris.
I feel it is an experience every believer must go through that reading about God’s faithfulness and experiencing Him – His constant presence – seem to be two very different things for a long time in their life. It is frustrating to find oneself stuck in a “desert jam”, seemingly without any guidance there. Maybe one could refer to Biblical wilderness experiences which led His people away from the conveniences of Egypt or the well-structured Jewish religious system.
The reason why God appears to be silent toward those who previously already experienced Him may lie in the fact that the Lord wants to meet us in a safe place where we depend on Him alone. It is God who leads us away from the flesh – Egypt/the old Adam – through the dry, empty, and unpleasant desert in order to kill the flesh/self during these years in the wilderness for the benefit of our souls that are spiritually made in His image. From flesh to Spirit, from Egypt to the Promised Land, from the bondage of darkness to freedom in light of Christ’s life (Jn 8:12), or from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant as it was originally meant to be by Jesus and during the apostles’ times.
We need not give up out of desperation, even if we are close to dying of thirst and hunger during those years on this pathless path “for the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Mt 7:14)
Indeed, our Lord Jesus Christ, He is the One who will never leave your side, that is, He walks beside you because He loves you more than you’ll ever know…
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