O God, you have rejected us, broken our defenses;
you have been angry; now restore us!
You have caused the land to quake; you have torn it open;
repair the cracks in it, for it is tottering.
You have made your people suffer hard things;
you have given us wine to drink that made us reel.
You have set up a banner for those who fear you,
to rally to it out of bowshot.
Give victory with your right hand, and answer us,
so that those whom you love may be rescued.
God has promised in his sanctuary:
“With exultation I will divide up Shechem,
and portion out the Vale of Succoth.
Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine;
Ephraim is my helmet; Judah is my scepter.
Moab is my washbasin; on Edom I hurl my shoe;
over Philistia I shout in triumph.”
Who will bring me to the fortified city?
Who will lead me to Edom?
Have you not rejected us, O God?
You do not go out, O God, with our armies.
O grant us help against the foe,
for human help is worthless.
With God we shall do valiantly;
it is he who will tread down our foes.
Reflection – Well, we made it through the 50s, the ‘gloomy 50s’ as I’ve called them in this weekly psalm column (psal-umn?) on the blog. And with Psalm 60, while troubles are still abounding and enemies are afoot, we do seem to have turned a corner.
The victory belongs to the Lord. This, of course, is always the answer to the ‘gloom-mongers’ of this world. Whenever the very real problems and very real woes of our lives or the times we live in start to pile up and blot out the light of the sun… well, it’s good to remember that the sun (and the Son) is still there, right?
God is victorious. God not only is winning, He has won, and at this point we are simply living through the mopping up operations. Christ Jesus defeated the devil, and sin, and evil, and death. All of these are still around and can damage us, but so is He, and He is stronger, and that’s more or less the whole point.
The psalms in the weeks ahead will take quite a sharp turn away from what has been a pretty unrelenting focus on trouble, sorrow, distress. This psalm stands right at the knife’s edge of that turn, right where we finally sum up the case that human life is a mess, that we are besieged by enemies too powerful for us, that we can do nothing against these powerful enemies, and that all is lost… except God.
And with God, all that is lost, is found. All defeated, win. All besieged, prevail. So let us not give in, not for a second, not for a moment, to discouragement, to defeatism, to gloom and sadness. We are people of faith, and Jesus is bigger than all the evil in the world.
Gaudete Sunday is coming up this weekend, so let’s rejoice in the Lord always, and know His love is upon all His people.