Psalm 74 is a difficult Psalm, a difficult piece of Scripture that you probably won’t find in your daily devotional of uplifting Scripture verses. But it is a reminder that we have to read the Bible for ourselves and we should read it every day. If you are reading selected verses on an Instagram feed or Facebook page, or even on this blog it won’t be enough. God will often speak to us through the difficult passages of Scripture.
I will confess that I did not want to read Psalm 74 and I didn’t want to write about Psalm 74. I wanted to push ahead and find an encouraging and uplifting Psalm that would be easier to use for encouragement. But God brought me back to Psalm 74 because there is something important there. I read Psalm 74 and I found Jesus there. I found that the Psalm is written by a people in crisis, asking tough questions. We too are a people in crisis asking tough questions.
- Are you angry with us Lord?
- Have you withdrawn your hand from us, the hand that was protecting us?
- Why did you let this happen?
Verse 12 is the pivotal verse. It is the turning point. It is the key to the Psalm.
For God is my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth.Psalm 74:12
The writer uses the word, ‘For’. In some translations that word is, ‘But’ or ‘Yet’. The Psalmist is saying that despite the crisis and despite the unanswered questions, God is his King of old and He is working salvation in the midst of the crisis. Despite everything that is happening these people are committed to God, they are hanging on, and holding on, to God.
We are called to do the same. Despite the fear, despite the uncertainty, despite the crisis – we are committed to God, our King. We hang onto God and we hold onto His promises as he works out our salvation in the midst of the crisis.
Being a Christian is not easy. If anyone told you that when you put your faith in Jesus, all your problems would disappear and your life would be easy, then you have been mislead. You don’t have to look any further than the original Christians, the first followers of Jesus Christ, the Disciples – tortured, martyred and murdered for their faith in Jesus.
They knew that Jesus did not die to bring us happiness, He died to bring us righteousness.
Being a Christian is more than saying a prayer, asking Jesus to ‘come into your heart’, and then continuing to live as you have always lived. Being a Christian is laying down your life for Christ. Being a Christian is making Jesus your Lord, your King. For a true Christian, Jesus is the King of all, the Lord over all.
The story of human-kind , the story of you and I is that we made ourselves king. We lived for ourselves, we built our own kingdoms. We turned our backs on God and we chose to sin. But God loves us and whilst we were still sinners, Jesus died on the cross for us. When we confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord, and we beleive in our hearts that He was raised from the dead, then we are saved.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.Romans 10:9
Have you made Jesus the King of your life?
Have you given Him everything? Your thoughts, your deeds, your sin, your uncertainty, your weakness, your pride?
If you have made Jesus the Lord of your life and you are experiencing hardship, difficulty or pain you have to do as the Psalmist does, as He says in verse 12 – you have to say ‘But, you are my King Jesus’. You have to hang onto Jesus and the promises that have been poured out over you, knowing that God is working your salvation in the midst of the earth, in the midst of this crisis.
God isn’t promising that life will be easy. He isn’t promising that you won’t be affected by this crisis. In John 14 Jesus tells us that, ‘You will have tribulations’. You have to be confident in the promises of your King of old and you have to speak these promises:-
- I will hang onto you Lord
- I will look to the cross
- I will trust you and I will continue to serve you
Because Jesus, you are my King of old and you are working out my salvation in the midst of this crisis.
Thank you Jesus.