Blogging the Bible 123 – Psalms 9-12 – How long, O Lord?

Knowing that God is the sovereign and wise judge of all is one thing. Waiting for him to do something about it is often another thing entirely.

That seems to be a theme of these four psalms, as the psalmist laments God’s apparent inaction. The wicked can do what they want, or so it seems – and they prosper. Yet in each of these psalms there is a move to a deep confidence that in the end God and justice will win out.

Once again, the psalmist’s grounds of confidence are rooted in knowing God and his nature. No apparent circumstances can outweigh the knowledge that God is good.

But that doesn’t make it easy to wait for the world to be right – and one of the gifts I think we have in the psalms is that God has given us words to express our frustration with him. Clearly, he can handle our anger and impatience. He knows and understands it, or these words would surely not be in the Bible he has inspired. So we can feel free to protest against the world and even against God. Perhaps it’s even a duty to do so, for if we don’t share the psalmist’s frustration with God’s apparent delays, that may be because we no longer actually believe that he can do or wishes to do anything about injustice. Only when we believe in a loving and powerful God do we have good reason to be frustrated with him – so lament and protest can be a sign of healthy faith.

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