St. Mark’s Lenten Thoughts, Thursday in the Second Week of Lent

Psalm 74 Jeremiah 4:9-10,19-28 Romans 2:12-24 John 5:19-29

Wow, as I read Psalm 74 and Jeremiah 4, I wish I had about 2,000 words to write my thoughts. I’ll focus on the Psalm. The Psalmist, Asaph, (writing perhaps about 580 BC) is really concerned, and he really wants God to pay attention to his words. (For me, reading Psalm 74 is almost as if Asaph has been reading and watching our current events – National and World news here in the 21st Century); He is deeply worried, and afraid that maybe God is not paying attention.

…A few of his thoughts….

He asks God to remember his “people”, for the enemy had ruined the sanctuary and jeopardized the nation.

The carved work was smashed by axes and hatchets; “They burned your sanctuary to the ground; they defiled the dwelling place of your Name”; ”They burned every place where God was worshipped in the land”.

“They said in their hearts, ‘We will crush them completely!’ They burned every place here God was worshiped in the land.” “We are given no signs from God; no prophets are left, and none of us knows how long this will be”. “How long will the enemy mock you, God? Will the foe revile your name forever?” etc, etc.

He prays for God to remember all he had done in the past for his “sheep.” Since he had no prophet available, Asaph speaks to God directly. You can just hear his despair in his writing. He suggests to God that He no longer remain inactive, but rather show His right Hand (a symbol of his power) and destroy them (the enemies). Asaph seeks to perhaps motivate God by reminding Him of His past help: (Ex: God delivered Israel through the Red Sea; and, and crushed the heads of Leviathan, a seven-headed mythological monster.)

After re-reading Psalm 74 several times, and moving my thoughts to today, then, Yes, we see the “enemies” are doing all of those same things today, right in front of our eyes! I take great comfort in knowing that God does indeed hear our pleadings, and that God does indeed take care of us. Though we may be worried about the times we live in, and think of ourselves as being in some “never before” situation, deep down we know that is not the case.

I’m not as bold as Asaph to be addressing God and telling Him what He should do; I just have to trust that God “will do”, as He has done so many times in history.

So far, He has not disappointed.

-Lennis S. Elston

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