“By a slaughter in my bones,
those who are hostile toward me continually taunt me.
Saying to me all the day, ‘Where is your God?’”
(Psalm 42:11 [Verse 10 in English Translations])
“Where is your God, now!” is the cry that so many of God’s people have heard, when tormented by their accusers. Even the accusers of Christ tormented him with similar words—“He saved others, let him save himself!” (Luke 23:35). “He used the power of God at other times, where is that power now!” is essentially what they were saying. Oh, how often we hear that taunt from the ignorant and the wicked around us and oh, how often we are tempted to believe their words and fear that God has left us or abandoned us to a fate of empty loneliness. Over and over they raise their horrid taunt and how the words echo in our ears and feed the fears that we have.
The psalmist will soon close this psalm with the words we are desperate to hear…that God indeed hears and is with us and will bring that salvation we so desperately long for into our day. Yet, beloved, in the midst of the darkness, God promises over and over again that he will neither leave us nor forsake us and that even during those times when we don’t see or feel his hand moving in our lives, he is still there. He says to us:
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will not fear evil, for you are with me—
Your rod and your staff, they continually bring me comfort.”
“Having gone , therefore, make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to keep all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you every day, until the consummation of eternity.”
“Also, I give to them life eternal, and they will surely not perish—for eternity—and no one will snatch them from my hand.”
Often people have despaired, wondering where God is during their time of crisis, yet our ability to feel God’s presence does not limit God’s ability to be with us. Indeed, sometimes the perceived distance is designed to teach us trust and patience. Beloved, the answer to the question posed by the mockers is, “God is with me; he has neither left nor forsaken me.” How we can find our courage in those words and that great reminder. Indeed, even though death may come to us in this life, Jesus has promised to preserve us from the second death—the Father’s judgment. Indeed, what a glorious gift we are given in Christ!