Old Testament Reading: Exodus 35, 36 & 37
Psalm Reading: Psalm 44
New Testament Reading: Romans 14
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Have you ever received a mushy love letter that resulted in a permanent smile pasted on your face? My late father-in-law Rex Cain shared stories about writing love letters to his girlfriend Grace (who later became his wife) when he was states away at Oregon Bible College in the 1950s. He would save his pennies for postage stamps and brief long-distance phone calls while he anxiously awaited her letters via snail mail.
Communication has changed a lot since then. Now we can reach people almost anytime, anywhere, as they probably carry their cell phones everywhere they go. We can video chat instantly with people from all over the world and send written correspondence lickety-split via email and text. (Call me old fashioned, but even though I am very grateful for the technological advancements that have allowed us so much more contact with each other, nothing can quite replace a handwritten letter or card from someone you love.)
I’ve heard it said that the Bible is God’s love letter to us. I also envision that many of the Psalms are the writer’s love letters to God. Psalm 44 begins as a love letter style – it might have even been put to music. The author writes about God’s faithfulness to His people in the past and renews their devotion to God. “For not in my bow do I trust, nor can my sword save me… In God we have boasted continually, and we will give thanks to your name forever. Selah.” (Psalm 44:6, 8 ESV)
Then in verse nine, this love letter turns a bit sour as the writer wonders aloud why God seems to have abandoned them. Something bad has happened to Israel, perhaps some battles that didn’t end well, even “though we have not forgotten you, and we have not been false to your covenant. Our heart has not turned back, nor have our steps departed from your way…” (vs 17,18). Israel is still faithfully serving God, but things are not going well for them.
Here, the writer is poetically penning the collective thoughts and doubts of God’s chosen people, speaking directly to God. They need help and answers! Perhaps sometimes we are afraid to tell God what we really think, but He already knows. He created us with emotions and feelings, and I think He wants us to share those with Him. But notice how this psalm ends. It doesn’t conclude by harping on God and turning away from Him. Rather, in verse 26 we observe an optimistic plea as the author remembers how God has always been faithful in the past, and believes that He will yet again show up to help His people: “Rise up; come to our help! Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love!”
Even in your times of doubting, don’t forget to remember God’s faithfulness. The Bible is packed with true tales of God’s provision, and if you think back hard enough into your own life, I bet you will recognize many times when God came through in your darkest moments as well.
Pen your own psalm. In this season of life, would your psalm be mostly praise and triumph, or more lamenting and questioning? Be sure to remember His faithfulness in your life as you close out the psalm.
Do you journal? It can be a great way to remember God’s faithfulness in your life. It doesn’t have to be elaborate; you can even do a quick bullet journal style. Journaling is a concrete way to look back to see God’s provision in your life. Jump in this week and give it a try!
Which part of this psalm speaks most to your heart today?
What does God want you to know about Him?