Consolation Series - Part 47 - Psalm 89 (Second Half)
But you have rejected and spurned.
You have been angry with your anointed.
You have renounced the covenant of your servant.
You have defiled his crown in the dust.
You have broken down all his hedges.
You have brought his strongholds to ruin.
All who pass by the way rob him.
He has become a reproach to his neighbors.
You have exalted the right hand of his adversaries.
You have made all of his enemies rejoice.
Yes, you turn back the edge of his sword,
and haven’t supported him in battle.
You have ended his splendor,
and thrown his throne down to the ground.
You have shortened the days of his youth.
You have covered him with shame.
How long, Yahweh?
Will you hide yourself forever?
Will your wrath burn like fire?
Remember how short my time is,
for what vanity you have created all the children of men!
What man is he who shall live and not see death,
who shall deliver his soul from the power of death?
Lord, where are your former loving kindnesses,
which you swore to David in your faithfulness?
Remember, Lord, the reproach of your servants,
how I bear in my heart the taunts of all the mighty peoples,
With which your enemies have mocked, Yahweh,
with which they have mocked the footsteps of your anointed one.
Blessed be Yahweh forever more.
Amen, and Amen.
In contrast to the first half of this psalm, the second half is grim. But the psalm ends with a prayer.
I am reminded of the ending of the PBS movie, God on Trial. A group of Jewish concentration camp prisoners have held a trial and declared God guilty of abandoning them and breaking the Covenant. One of the prisoners, who up until then had been cynical and dismissive, plaintively asks the rabbi what they are to do now. The rabbi answers simply, “pray.” They are led away to their deaths praying the haunting Psalm 90. “Satisfy us in the morning with your loving kindness, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen evil.”
Jesus too, must answer this question for himself and for his apostles. His death occurs on Passover, the celebration of God’s rescue of His people by His strong arm. Like the prisoners, Jesus must make sense of the strong, Passover God’s apparent absence in his moment of need.
He, too, simply prays.