A Prayer Of Faith In The Midst Of Hard Times (Psalm 74)


O God, how long will the adversary reproach? Will the enemy blaspheme Your name forever? 11 Why do You withdraw Your hand, even Your right hand? [Take it] out of Your bosom and destroy [them]. 12 For God [is] my King from of old, Working salvation in the midst of the earth. 13 You divided the sea by Your strength; You broke the heads of the sea serpents in the waters. 14 You broke the heads of Leviathan in pieces, [And] gave him [as] food to the people inhabiting the wilderness. 15 You broke open the fountain and the flood; You dried up mighty rivers. 16 The day [is] Yours, the night also [is] Yours; You have prepared the light and the sun. 17 You have set all the borders of the earth; You have made summer and winter. 18 Remember this, [that] the enemy has reproached, O LORD, And [that] a foolish people has blasphemed Your name. 19 Oh, do not deliver the life of Your turtledove to the wild beast! Do not forget the life of Your poor forever. 20 Have respect to the covenant; For the dark places of the earth are full of the haunts of cruelty. 21 Oh, do not let the oppressed return ashamed! Let the poor and needy praise Your name. 22 Arise, O God, plead Your own cause; Remember how the foolish man reproaches You daily. 23 Do not forget the voice of Your enemies; The tumult of those who rise up against You increases continually.

PSALM 74:10-23


There is a prosperity gospel out there that is no gospel at all. It tells you that God wants you healthy, wealthy, and independent. The proponents voice that all you need to do is to “name it and claim it” in Jesus name. If you have enough faith you will be healed or “financially” healed, etc. They day God wants you to live your best life now…. And while I understand that there is a measure of truthfulness in the sentiment that life with Jesus is better than life without him, but what this false gospel of prosperity often fails to take into account is that God’s purpose is greater than than just our comfort or material needs in a sinful world. Indeed, He promises one day to remove sin from the world in a new heavens and a new earth and you can’t tell me that life with sin on this earth is better than eternity where the curse is undone!

The Psalmist writes his lament about things he saw happen that he never thought would happen. The temple was destroyed. God’s people were taken into captivity. It’s not a name it and claim it kind of moment. Everyone is mourning the loss of someone they know. Everyone is mourning the loss of their nation, the loss of their identity, and the loss of a place that was the center for worshipping God. The feeling in the air is one of being deflated. How do they possibly move on from here? How do they go, grow, and prosper after such a horrible devastation.

Praise God that his gospel is bigger than just health and wealth for a fallen world. Praise God that he is moving even in the hard times. Praise God that he hears our prayers and tears of brokenness. Praise God that we can call out to him with real and raw emotion because that is exactly what the psalmist does here. He laments just how broken and fractured his world is. He doesn’t blame God, he knows the sins of his nation have lead them to this point, but he does ask God how long until they will be restored.

Indeed in the very presence of devastation, in the middle of his prayer there is a sense of holy discontentment. That discontentment is expressed in the reality that God is not through yet. His promises still remain. There is a dissonance that we feel in the middle of brokenness while holding on to the promises of eternal holiness. While the psalmist is walking through the rubble, he already knows the promises of God and so he cries out in faith! Faith that God will accomplish all that he said he would, faith that takes God’s promises to the bank and asks for action, faith that acknowledges sorrow in the present, but also joy for tomorrow. Romans 8:28 faith. Genesis 50:20 Faith. Faith.


Father, No matter how dark the night, we wait for the dawning of a new day knowing that you have promised us, a new heart, a new life, a new body, a new heavens, and a new earth. All things new! We know that what is broken by sin must be healed and redeemed. We are reminded that while we live in a fallen world there will be brokenness and that brokenness will hurt. It seems almost unbearable on some days. We hold to our confidence in you to bring all things to a rightful conclusion in Jesus Christ. We hold to your word, to your promises, to your abundant life even in the midst of trials and travails. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.

I Am Prone To Envy (Psalm 73)


A Psalm of Asaph. Truly God [is] good to Israel, To such as are pure in heart. 2 But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; My steps had nearly slipped. 3 For I [was] envious of the boastful, When I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4 For [there are] no pangs in their death, But their strength [is] firm. 5 They [are] not in trouble [as other] men, Nor are they plagued like [other] men. 6 Therefore pride serves as their necklace; Violence covers them [like] a garment. 7 Their eyes bulge with abundance; They have more than heart could wish. 8 They scoff and speak wickedly [concerning] oppression; They speak loftily. 9 They set their mouth against the heavens, And their tongue walks through the earth. … 23 Nevertheless I [am] continually with You; You hold [me] by my right hand. 24 You will guide me with Your counsel, And afterward receive me [to] glory. 25 Whom have I in heaven [but You]? And [there is] none upon earth [that] I desire besides You. 26 My flesh and my heart fail; [But] God [is] the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 27 For indeed, those who are far from You shall perish; You have destroyed all those who desert You for harlotry. 28 But [it is] good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, That I may declare all Your works.

PSALM 73:1-9, 23-28


I went on a vacation a few years ago at the beach. We checked into a nice condo. Everywhere I looked I saw nice cars and nice boats. We ran into some people who lived at the condo (part time) and I overheard them talking about how many nice things they had, nice dinners they ate, and the people they got to hang out with. I couldn’t help but hear about how they talked about all the folks who didn’t have what they had. Somewhere in the middle of their life of comfort and ease they had begun to think that they were self-made. I confess, before that trip I thought my life was pretty great, but then, even in the middle of a pretty great vacation I found myself becoming miserable. Especially when I internalized that I must have spent my life pursuing the “wrong things” because I didn’t have much to “show for it.”

Asaph confesses in this psalm that he struggled with the same ideas (Has the world really changed that much). He knew that God was good and that God was good to him, but when he let his heart be tempted towards envy he found himself in a bad place. He was also bothered that folks had taken the blessing of God for granted and appropriated it as their own effort or work… but can we really blame them? Do we not often do the same thing? How often do we thank God for the blessings we take for granted? I’ll be honest and say that sometimes I don’t recognize the blessings God has given me until they go missing? Like a healthy heart, etc.

What is the remedy for an envious heart? What is the remedy when we so clearly see the sins of God-forgetfulness in others who want to take pride in their position as if they had accomplished anything without God’s grace? It’s God! It’s pressing into the Lord and counting what you do have. It’s going back and doing the algebra of thankfulness. Gratitude in God combats envy all day long. It’s counting your blessings and naming them one by one and oh by the way don’t forget the biggest blessing of a real and right relationship with God himself!

Don’t miss it, Asaph has a lot to say in this whole Psalm! When God is all you have, you have everything you need. When stuff is all you have, stuff won’t last and you will find yourself boasting in emptiness. There is a day coming when what we believe and where we have put all our confidence will be made clear. On that day it is far better to have nothing this world has to offer and a relationship with Jesus than it is to have everything this world has to offer and not have Jesus.

So everyday, choose to count what you do have, not what you don’t have. Choose to be grateful not hateful. Choose contentment over envy. For it’s in contentment where joy is found not the seeming success or stuff of others. Some days we just need to adjust our attitude for gratitude.


Father, thank you for your incredible mercy and grace! You have been better to me than I have ever deserved. I confess that Along with Asaph I am prone to slip on Envy. I often see what others have and wonder that I might be missing some sort of blessing. Help me to recognize it as the same sin that caused Adam and Eve to eat the fruit. They lusted, coveted, wanted, and envied and here I am so many generations later still a product of the fall. I pray that you would let me find contentment in you! You are the give of good gifts. Help me to even recognize the many you have already blessed me with just by knowing you as my Lord. Guard my heart from envy, I want to honor you in all things! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.

A Good Government (Psalm 72)


[A Psalm] of Solomon. Give the king Your judgments, O God, And Your righteousness to the king’s Son. 2 He will judge Your people with righteousness, And Your poor with justice. 3 The mountains will bring peace to the people, And the little hills, by righteousness. 4 He will bring justice to the poor of the people; He will save the children of the needy, And will break in pieces the oppressor. 5 They shall fear You As long as the sun and moon endure, Throughout all generations. 6 He shall come down like rain upon the grass before mowing, Like showers [that] water the earth. 7 In His days the righteous shall flourish, And abundance of peace, Until the moon is no more.

PSALM 72:1-7


I’ve been a few places outside of the United States and seen how a few different countries are governed. Sometimes the people have a voice in who will be the president or leader, other times they have no real voice. I’ve witnessed poverty in lots of places. Sometimes that poverty was caused by injustice that was unaddressed by the “rulers” and in some instances it was even caused by the “rulers.” Such instances should cause us to pause and consider what is a “good government?” Even in America there is turmoil and strife over how our country is run and for those who cry out for justice. It only makes it more evident that we live in a fallen world.

Solomon writes this Psalm calling out to God to bless him to be a good leader and ruler of his people. He doesn’t have a small job, it’s a big one. He is the first in the Davidic line of kings behind his father David. He wants to judge justly. He wants to honor God as king. And as we read through the scriptures we notice that he does several things right… but then we also note that he does several things wrong or not as rightly/ fully as he should. (It’s easy to see his mistakes from the outside, but I wonder how he felt when he was making them?)

The truth of the matter is that Solomon was a good king, but the end of his Reign not only had he built the temple to God, but he had build several places for idol worship in the land of Israel. We see he was wise and just, but he also had oppressed and perhaps overworked the people of the northern ten tribes to the point that they are willing to rebel when his son takes over.

We marvel at the Davidic line. How can someone who is said to be a man after God’s heart go an commit adultery and kill another man? How can a man be called the wisest man who ever lived and yet be at the center of rampant idolatry worship in Israel? We could probably say similar things about the people who have held office in our cities, states, and nations. We need a better leaders. We don’t just need sometimes godly leaders, we need God as our leader…. Enter Jesus Christ.

I’m convinced that our complaints of injustice can only be met when Jesus is king. Indeed we are taught to pray, “Thy Kingdom Come.” We are recognizing that as good as our politicians and leaders might be in their own generation, there is only truly ever good king and his name is Jesus. Only He can deliver us from sin, and death. He is the one who can undue the curse.


Father, Your kingdom come. Your will be done. I am asking for good and godly leaders for our nation. I am grateful for so much that has transpired recently in my nation with the supreme court. While I ask for your blessing on our leaders and for your will to be done and executed through good and godly politicians who would seek after you, I also know that no one will be as good for the world as Jesus. So I look to you and pray that in your timing, your kingdom would come, and those in Christ would be ready. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.