78: TRIAL – STANDING
FIRM IN HARDSHIP: Delight in God’s ways,
however, is not removed from the realities of our struggles. In verse 78, the psalmist gets specific
about the situation of life that he is facing. While the Lord may discipline him for his own good, it would
seem here that there are people who are abusing him. There seem to have been people who had harmed him or
maligned him in some way. We don’t
know the details. We just catch a
glimpse here that the person who wrote this psalm is suffering under the weight
of people who are wronging him unjustly.
many of us can relate to this. For
many of us the year that has ended has brought unfair circumstances upon us and
we have begun the New Year in struggle and in fear and in pain and upset that
there is so much wrong in our lives that we had nothing to do with.
constant since the beginning of humanity has been that people have suffered for
no good reason. And I mean no good
reason. We were created good, but
when we rejected good, we received bad.
And ever since people have suffered hardship whether it be physical
(through sickness or plight) or personal (through the hurtful hands of
others). The point of verse 78 is
that the psalmist is trusting God to right the wrongs that are beyond his
control. No resolution of his own
can fix this problem. The only
thing he can do is to stand firm in the hardship by trusting God to act justly. And in return he is pledging himself to
live according to God’s ways. God
is a God of unfailing love and unending compassion, so the psalmist is
committing himself to God. He’s
promising to walk humbly with God.
He wants God to bring to justice those who are utilizing hurt and abuse
for their own gain, and for his demise.
He wants God to bring justice because he knows he was not created for
unjust treatment. “Your hands
formed me, God. Don’t let people
treat me like this. Bring
justice. And God, in the hardship,
I will look to you.” He says,
verse 78: “May the arrogant be put to shame for wronging me without cause;
but I will meditate on your precepts.”
These others, they failed to
live according to God’s ways. But
the author is not going to stoop to that game. Despite the hardship, he’s going to live the way God made
him to live.
not saying it’s going to be easy.
But that brings us to verse 79 and the reminder that we are not alone in
hardship. For better or for worse,
we are surrounded by a multitude of witnesses who are in community with us.