The Whole Story
If you only read these four verses of Psalm 89, you can be forgiven for thinking it’s a “happy-clappy everything-is-awesome-so-God-is-awesome” escape from the harsh realities of life. Only, like so many of the psalms (at least my favorites), it isn’t.
If you sit down and read the whole very long psalm, you get a sense of a history that is not simple, that includes stories of God’s justice and righteousness, of God’s deliverance and provision, yes… but also reminders of those times when God seems far away, when things are not going so great.
Does this paint the psalmist as an escapist who marvels at how good God is and forgets all the bad times? I don’t think so. God is good, sometimes “stuff happens”, the world makes no sense, monsters become people of power, people of power become monsters, sickness, loss… things like that.
God is good anyway. In the midst of all of that, not despite it.
We remember today, Lord, that your goodness and mercy reign, even when we recall the times when it seemed far away, when you seemed far away. We celebrate your love in our lives and world, even, maybe especially, when the memory of difficult times is keenly felt.
Peter Hamm is the pastor (and sometimes worship leader) at Grace United Methodist Church in Norwood, OH.
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