Here and Gone

Day 219

Prayer for the day

Show your goodness, O LORD, to those who are good and to those who are true of heart.

Scripture for the day

Psalm 74-76, Romans 9:16-33

It’s fascinating to read through the Psalms. So often they vacillate between ecstasy at the presence and care of God and utter despair at the lack of God’s presence or intervention. The Psalms of David and the Psalms of Asaph (along with all the other Psalms!) feature this swing back and forth. It is important to remember that the Psalms represent different times in the lives of the authors and in the people of Israel.

The scriptures are full of references to the presence of God, but surprisingly they’re also full of references to the absence or at least non-action of God. What do we make of these seemingly polar opposite assertions?

The Psalms, as we’ve said, represent different times, but they also represent different emotional states and theological rationale. It may be that some Psalms represent a human perspective of divine abandonment while others a human perspective of divine assistance. All serve to give us a great picture of the universal human experience.

In the Second Testament, we are treated to theological rationale that attempts, in some ways, to explain WHY God sometimes seems absent and why God sometimes seems more present. The Apostle Paul writes that God’s action is not something that humans can understand, and certainly not something that humans can criticize, since it is beyond our understanding. The Apostle claims that God’s mercy is reserved for those who receive it, and God’s wrath for those who receive it. There are all sorts of philosophical reasons that have been explored, but at the centre of the argument for the Apostle is the incredible grace of God, that God would gift humanity with his presence at all, and that God would desire us to know him and his presence.

Thanks be to God!

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