Beliefs can be stumped. Your child can go off to college or grad school and learn an archeological or scientific bomb that shatters their belief in the Bible. I have seen it time and time again with friends of mine who grew up in the church and are no longer Christians. Taking your kids to a Christian museum where Adam and Eve ride on dinosaurs isn’t going to prevent this or fix it when it happens.
essens here, doesn’t it? We know this is the direction of the psalmist because he tells us in verse 3 where he has in fact been getting his water from: his tears. His tears have been his food day and night, with God nowhere in sight. God’s absence is noticeable even to those around him as people taunt him, asking him where his God is, in the midst of his pain.
Psalm 40 shows us that we can confidently approach God in our time of need, and that we can continue to worship and rejoice in him, even when our circumstances would indicate otherwise. It also sets a clear pattern that God doesn’t always tie things up in a perfect, red bow at the end. It doesn’t promise that “all who want to take my life be put to shame and confusion.” That prayer is prayed, but as far as we know, those attempted murderers are still on the prowl. What it does promise is we can go to God as our refuge and strength in the midst of this.
The grass metaphor is the only thing close to a timeline that this psalm gives us on when the righteous reality will come into effect. When we go to God in our suffering, or go to God and ask “How long oh Lord?” like Psalm 13 cries out, we want a definitive answer. A definitive timeline of exactly how long until we see God’s justice. God doesn’t tell us this. But Psalm 37 assures us that it will happen. Psalm 37 tells us we are on the right side. Psalm 37 tells us that a day is coming when the wicked will be punished and they will regret being on the wrong side. It tells us that a day is coming when our past suffering will seem small in comparison with the present glory that we will experience within God’s blessing. The Old Testament Israelites were waiting to inherit the land, but we are waiting to inherit a kingdom, God’s kingdom. His rule and reign on earth both now and for all eternity, which the Lord Prayer tells us to pray for today (Matthew 6:10).
Wesley Hill is a gay, celibate Christian. While I can’t speak for all people in all places, his 2010 book Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality was groundbreaking in my corner of biblically conservative evangelicalism. In a topic that had become bifurcated into only two camps, Wesley presented a third camp: Christians […]
Listen below or subscribe on iTunes or Google Play Noah interviews Brooks Hall on giving his life to Jesus Christ a little over a year ago. Brooks won the 1999 Mr. Ohio Basketball award, given to the best player in the state. He went on to be a 4-year starter at the University of Dayton (3x all conference), […]