Saturday: Psalm 74-76; Isaiah 40.1-11; Matthew 12.1-32

From: Jalaine

Arise, O God, defend your cause.

As I read and pondered the psalms for today, Psalm 74 particularly struck me. I identified with the cry of the psalmist: Why are you so far away, Lord? Why does the enemy get to strut around and scoff? Why is our land so full of violence and darkness? Please Lord, do not forget the life of the poor forever! 

Amidst the cries of the psalm, we are reminded that God is still working out his salvation in the earth (v.12) and that day and night are the Lords (v.16). Still, the psalm ends with a bold plea:

Arise, O God, defend your cause.

I was moved by the power of this statement. I so easily become overwhelmed by the pain and devastation I come into contact with during my workday, in my life, and when I intake the news of the world. I want a faith like the faith exhibited in Psalm 74—one that believes in God’s sovereignty and faithfulness and also boldly asks and pleads for God’s justice and peace to break down barriers and bring healing to people right now, as we are living in this world. I can rest assured, as is highlighted in our Isaiah reading for today, that “...the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed.” (Isaiah 40.4-5). I can have confidence that the Lord comes with both might and gentleness (Isaiah 40.10-11) and that ultimately Jesus brings justice to victory and in him we have hope (Matthew 12). Yet, with that knowledge grounding me, I desire to be bolder in the face of present darkness. I want to more fervently ask to see God’s reconciliation and transformation in the disparity and conflict in our world, like the psalmist. Increase my faith, Lord. Grow my belief in your power and goodness.

Arise, O God, defend your cause.

I'm a Kentuckian, in love with New England, bluegrass music, big cups of tea and Wendell Berry sabbath poems. I work with people experiencing homelessness and live on a precious street, with precious roommates, in Dorchester.