Thursday, January 30, 2014

ups and downs

For not from the east or from the west and not from the wilderness comes lifting up, but it is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another. 

Psalm 75:6-7

Righteous people may struggle from time to time when they observe that wicked people have risen to prominence. Asaph, the psalmist of the exile, sings of this in the text of Psalm 75. Even though the Jews are "put down", God is at work. His justice has placed them in exile and lifted up the Babylonian empire to rule them. It is God's doing. What they are experiencing is the direct control of God's sovereign purposes.

But with patience comes a new promise. God puts one person down and lifts another one up. And in due time as the Jews are faithful to The Lord, God will "put down" their oppressors and lift the Jews back up again. The waiting is the hardest part, but the reality of God's justice is assured. Their present circumstances should strengthen their conviction and keep them fervent in their prayers for eventual deliverance.

The perspective of this truth is important. As I have seen a decline in real Christian influence in my culture over the course of my life, I can't help but wonder how much of it is God's judgment on an idolatrous Church. He will put us down so that He can be worshiped again. And He will raise us up, not for our pride's sake, but for His glory to be known in the earth.

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