Thursday, July 16, 2009

Feelings of rejection

Today's scripture comes from: Psalm 60:1-3 (NIV) You have rejected us, O God, and burst forth upon us;

you have been angry – now restore us!

You have shaken the land and torn it open,

mend its fractures, for it is quaking.

you have shown your people desperate times;

you have given us wine that makes us stagger.

Rejected is a powerful word. The Thesaurus lists such synonyms as abandoned, denied, deserted, dropped, forsaken, jilted, refused, returned, shunned. How many of us have felt abandoned, denied, forsaken, jilted, or shunned in our lifetimes. Abandoned by friends. Denied entrance to a certain college. Shunned by colleagues. Forsaken by God. We can overcome most of those situations with some time, but to feel like we’ve been forsaken by God is tough. David, the author of this Psalm, is feeling rejected by God. It doesn’t get any worse than that.

The worst part about feeling rejected by God is the aloneness. It’s a horrible feeling. It is easy in troubling time, through divorce, loss of job, the inability to get a new job, or the loss of a friendship, to feel alone. At some point, we begin to wonder where God is, or maybe if he’s even there. Has he left the building? Is God silent? Is God angry with me? Is our nation, indeed, quaking? Let’s look at what the Bible say about such circumstances?

Let’s first look at what God’s word says about those four questions. Hebrews 13:5 says “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” That passage is clear that God has not left u, so abandonment is not possible. God will always be at your side, and that is a comfort in difficult times. Still, maybe God is angry with us or our actions. Look further at the passage: Be content with what you have in life and don’t desire the things of this world. Maybe God just wants your focus to be on him and not our toys.

David realizes that God is angry with Israel, but he still asks Him to “restore us!” David acknowledges that God has “shaken the land” and that it needs mending. These are desperate times, he concludes. People are staggering around him, perhaps from too much wine, which is a metaphor. Perhaps the stuff that’s going on in your life is what is bringing us to your knees, not God. Often, the natural consequences of our choices is what is flooring us. It could be something as simple as buying too many “things” on credit, then not being able to keep up with the credit card payments. The answer comes in verse 12: “With God we gain the victory.” Don’t put your faith in the world; put God first, and the feelings of rejection disappear.

How does this apply to my life?

Today’s prayer: Lord, we as a nation have rejected you and put our hopes in the world. We have not put you first, and it has shaken us. Help us to turn to you for our help. Amen

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