Psalm 94 – Where God Is in the Slaughter

Bible opened to Psalm 94 with Theo Orange 70 percent dark chocolate on snowman plate
Because nothing says “it’s beginning to look a lot like September” like a snowman plate.

Today’s passage: Psalm 94

Today’s chocolate: Theo Orange 70% Dark Chocolate

This past summer, Switchfoot released their 10th studio album, Where the Light Shines Through. If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, it will come as no surprise that I’ve been eating the album up. For the past 20 years, Switchfoot has consistently delivered great rock with thoughtful lyrics that I can’t help but quote every other post. Today’s psalm reminded me of a line from their song “The Day I Found God:” “They’re saying maybe you made us then forgot us, but that ain’t you.”

Switchfoot lead singer Jon Foreman is referring to his own internal monologue with that line, but the unnamed psalmist in Psalm 94 hears the same message from the voices outside his head. He reports, “They have said, ‘The Lord does not see, nor does the God of Jacob pay heed'” (7). Even in the modern world, it’s a familiar idea, one that you’ve probably heard expressed in some form or another, perhaps one you’ve wondered about yourself. But these people see God’s alleged absence as license to do whatever they want: “They slay the widow and the stranger and murder the orphans” (6). They oppress the psalmist’s people with the expectation that no deity will deliver them justice.

The psalmist defies these evildoers with conviction. He asks: “Pay heed, you senseless among the people; and when will you understand, stupid ones?” (8) These are the same words we saw in Psalm 92:  “senseless” is the Hebrew ba’ar, and “stupid” is kesil. You’re an idiot if you think you can trample over God’s people and get away with it, the psalmist contends. Still, I can’t help but wonder what he would say if he could look through time and see the atrocities committed against the Jewish people in World War II. What sort of Holocaust theology would he propose? Would he still say, “For the Lord will not abandon His people, nor will He forsake His inheritance?” (14). Honestly, something tells me he would, despite the challenges to faith of the 20th century.

After all, he’s certainly aware that everyone dies. His countrymen are dying around him, as we’ve already seen in verse six. Moreover, he notes, “The Lord knows the thoughts of man, that they are a mere breath” (11). On God’s timetable, everything going on in our heads is here and gone in the time it takes to exhale. He might mourn the death of six million, he would likely be angry, but he would stand by his words: “But the Lord has been my stronghold, and my God the rock of my refuge” (22). As long as the Lord preserves a remnant of his people, no single loss of life, whether by violence or natural causes, can make this man abandon the God who never abandoned him.

Theo Orange 70 percent dark chocolate bar in wrapper on blue placematGot a new chocolate today: Theo Chocolate’s orange bar. I’m usually not a huge fan of fruit in my chocolate, as I find it distracts from the flavor, but the tart of the orange is a great complement to the bite of a dark chocolate bar. I’m looking forward to eating more of this stuff, as it may be my favorite bar from Theo yet.

 

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