Daily Devotional: Psalms 74:1-9
1 Why have you rejected us forever, O God? Why does your anger smolder against the sheep of your pasture? 2 Remember the people you purchased of old, the tribe of your inheritance, whom you redeemed--Mount Zion, where you dwelt. 3 Turn your steps toward these everlasting ruins, all this destruction the enemy has brought on the sanctuary. 4 Your foes roared in the place where you met with us; they set up their standards as signs. 5 They behaved like men wielding axes to cut through a thicket of trees. 6 They smashed all the carved paneling with their axes and hatchets. 7 They burned your sanctuary to the ground; they defiled the dwelling place of your Name. 8 They said in their hearts, “We will crush them completely!” They burned every place where God was worshiped in the land. 9 We are given no miraculous signs; no prophets are left, and none of us knows how long this will be.
39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. 40 God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
Why did God allow James to be killed and Peter to be rescued from prison? Why did he allow Stephen to be stoned to death and then elevate Saul, the ring leader of the persecution to become one of the greatest apostles? Hebrews chapter eleven is filled with the men and women of faith and we often focus on those who saw deliverance from their persecutions and whose faith elevated them to hero status in our minds. How often do we notice the last verses of this chapter where so many are listed that were persecuted, tortured and killed?
Does one show the love of God any more than the other? Does one show the presence or wisdom of God more than the other? When we get to where we can know the mind of God and his infinite wisdom and his impeccable timing, we can make sense of it in our own minds. But the truth is, we will never be able to do so in this life. So no matter what we face or how little we understand, we trust God in it all. We do know he loves us and he cares and is getting us ready to live with him in a place with no tears, trials or hardships – just glory and joy.
O Lord, my Lord, how excellent is you name in all the earth. Your glory, your wisdom and your power are above my ability to comprehend. Keep me from ever questioning your direction in my life. Help me trust you to always do what is right and give me wisdom from above, strength and patience from your Spirit to just do your will – no matter what happens in my life. Forgive me when I fail. Use me to help others as they seek to serve you. I pray in the name of Jesus.