“O God, why have You cast us off forever? Why does Your anger smoke against the sheep of Your pasture? Remember Your congregation, which You have purchased of old, The tribe of Your inheritance, which You have redeemed—This Mount Zion where You have dwelt. Lift up Your feet to the perpetual desolations. The enemy has damaged everything in the sanctuary. Psalm 74:1–3
As long as I’ve been alive people have looked at the condition of the world and said that it just can’t get much worse and that God has to come again and bring an end to the madness. The truth is, yes the world is crazy, but if you look at history you see that this madness has been going on for thousands of years. The only thing that’s really changed is how we display our sinfulness and depravity not whether we do.
Honestly, here in North America, where I live, we have it pretty good compared to the craziness that exists in a lot of the world. Yes, it’s still crazy, we don’t have to look very far, or dig very deep, to find plenty to lament about to God.
This was also true for Asaph as he was writing Psalm 74. He lived, ministered, and prophesied during the reign of David, a time of revival and prosperity for the people of Israel. During David’s reign the enemies surrounding Israel and Judah were pushed back and most lived in peace and stability. Spiritually, things hadn’t been better in a long time. David was a devote worshipper of God possessing a strong yearning for an ever deepening connection with God and in many ways this was reflected throughout the nation. But the good times in this sinful world were still full of wickedness and difficulty.
I write this because many times I hear people commenting on how bad it’s getting and citing this as evidence that Christ’s return is soon.
Friends, Jesus made it clear in Matthew chapter twenty four that war, hardship, and spiritual turmoil would exist from his day all the way to the end. I’ve seen nothing yet, when it comes to disregard of human kindness and disrespect for godliness, that hasn’t been commonly present throughout recorded history.
Asaph saw these things as evidence of God’s absence or neglect. We, additionally, like to give an apocalyptic significance to the crimes and disasters that are reported daily. Too often we forget that the signs of the end are more specific in type than the hardships that so often afflict us. I believe that Jesus is coming soon but not because life is crazy. I believe because I see some of those specific prophecies on the verge of fulfillment.
Friends, God, who created this world and sent his son to save us, is never far. Violence, sinfulness, and godlessness have been a part of our lives ever since the fall of Adam and Eve. We need to stop looking at the condition of the world around us so much and look to God in faith. Look to his word for guidance. He’ll sustain us today, and he’ll carry us through to the end.