Psalm 43

Sometimes God doesn't answer prayer as quickly as we think He should. That's especially true when we're in difficult and painful situations, In fact sometimes it seems like we've waited a very long time and there's still no answer. And even when the answer does come, it isn't always what we thought it should be.

It wasn't any different for the Israel of David's day. Some of the people coming to the temple to worship early in the morning came with heavy hearts, sometimes even with hearts that were completely misunderstood by others. They came, after all, as they were - with all their daily problems and difficulties.

Sometimes problems might be with other people, or, as in David's case, with other nations. As the psalmist expresses it here, sometimes it seemed like the nations of the world were so unjust that they couldn't or wouldn't deal understandingly with anyone. Sometimes they were even downright deceitful in their dealings. In any case, sometimes it seemed as though God wasn't looking after His people, as if He had deserted them and wasn't hearing their crying.

But there was nowhere else to turn either. He was, after all, their only Source of help, so they still had to go to Him, whether the problem was with nations or with individuals. With these things in mind, the worship leader has the people sing an urgent prayer. He says,"Oh send out Your light and Your truth! Let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your tabernacle!" They're just asking that God would make them aware that they're not just in an earthly tabernacle, but that they're truly before the throne of their caring God.

God answers a prayer like that! In fact the leader leads the people in anticipation. He has them sing, "Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy; and on the harp I will praise You, O God my God!"

Actually, the leader wants the people, when they finally leave the temple that morning, to believe that God always does send out the necessary light and truth. He has them sing, "Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God!"

Have you experienced these things? Do you ever feel as if God isn't answering your prayer, as if you've been deserted to an unjust and deceitful world? It may be that it's entirely necessary for you to feel that way. Sometimes, in fact, God may leave you in that situation for just a little while in order to create in your cold heart a real anticipation of what it will be like to be in His presence and blessing again.

Of course He may also do it in order to move you to pray, to beg for His light and truth - perhaps because you thought you could get along without them for a time. Whatever your case, join the worship leader: call on God - again - for you shall "yet praise Him, the help of your countenance and your God!" Pray today for a soul sensitive to His presence, a soul needing that presence, and a soul glad for that presence!

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Trinidad Bay on the west coast where Pastor Moak resides.  Photo taken by Al.

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