By A Global Worker in Eurasia
LAMENT CRIES OUT (1-2)
Asaph is seeking God desperately. He is pursuing the Lord intently and without a break. Though painful, his cries are still an expression of faith because he is sharing his pain. To cry out is better than silence or denial.
LAMENT STRUGGLES (3-6)
Asaph is burdened. His soul refuses to be comforted. He says that his grief had rendered him both speechless and sleepless. But worse still, when he remembers his past, today feels more painful and leads him to doubt either God’s presence or goodness.
LAMENT PROVIDES SPACE FOR DOUBT (7-9)
In this section Asaph ask six questions:
- Has God rejected me?
- Will God no longer be good to me?
- Has God’s lovingkindness finished?
- Have God’s promises come to an end for me?
- Is God no longer gracious to me?
- Has God ceased his compassion to me?
LAMENT IS HONEST ABOUT PAIN (10)
This is the pivotal verse in the Psalm. Some translations say, “It is my grief, that the right hand of the Most High has changed.” Other versions say, “to this I will appeal: the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand.”
Two very different ideas that hinge on one Hebrew word. The best translation is the first one because it fits the overall context the best: “It is my grief that the right hand of the Most High has changed.”
Of course, we know that God has not changed, but Asaph is stating that his experience suggests that God has changed, and is no longer good to him. Asaph is being honest with his emotional state.
LAMENT REMEMBERS GOD’S WORKS (11-20)
Now, Asaph returns to what he knows of God that is true as historical fact. In the next ten verses, he waxes poetically about the way God delivered Israel out of Egypt and through the Red Sea. This history provides us a baseline of God’s goodness.
- Lament means being honest with our pain, but remembers God’s work in history to be our basis of hope.
- To cry is human, but to lament is Christian. Lament turns toward God when sorrows tempt us to run from Him.
On your social media or in the comments, write a response to this devotional or answer this question:
- Where have you discovered the benefit of finding a trusted friend to be honest with about your pain, and how did God work through that relationship?