Prayer for the day
You, O LORD, are a shield about me; you are my glory, the one who lifts up my head.
Scripture for the day
Sometimes reading the Psalms can be depressing. Many of them extoll the glory and honour of God. Many of them rejoice in the good work of the God, YHWH, whom Israel serves. And some, like Psalm 88, are just downright depressing.
The Psalmist presents us with a litany of woes, a laundry list of evil that has befallen him, and he implores God to intercede, to intervene, to just show up and do something! You can almost hear the hopeful pleading in his voice. He believes God will help, trusts that God will help, but despairs that he may be wrong!
The Psalmist is in real pain and doubt, and in the midst of pain and doubt, he is crying out that God would save him.
In his letter to the Romans, Paul cautions Christians in Rome against wasting their lives in the service of fleshly desires, but instead, to wake up and prepare for the coming of the Lord. One can almost hear the Apostle pleading with the people of Rome to get out of bed and pay attention to what is happening instead of giving themselves over to self-indulgence and wickedness. At least, we think, the Psalmist is crying out to God! The people Paul is speaking to are seduced by easy living, by sinful lifestyles, and so forget all about the incredible saving grace that God offers each of them.
Throughout our lives, we’ll likely live in both arenas from time to time. There will be times when you just don’t see the presence of God and despair at his distance. Cry out. There will be times when you will be tempted to forget God and indulge. Cry out. The response in both situations ought to be the same: rely on the God who saves. Wake up and live your life for Christ! All else is useless.