Restore us again, O God of our salvation,
and put away your indignation toward us!
Will you be angry with us forever?
Will you prolong your anger to all generations?
Will you not revive us again,
that your people may rejoice in you? (Psalm 85:4-6, ESV)
Wow. When’s the last time we sang something this powerful, this emotional, this desperate in a church worship service? I dare say we’ve never known this kind of sheer desperation for God to act on behalf of his people and that because of that, we have probably never seen this kind of longing in a worship song or hymn. Besides, that kind of display has no place in a formal, organized and tidy service, does it?
Bah. Yeah, you heard me. Bah.
To the Jewish people, God was real, very real, so real in fact that he was just the type of king they could complain to like we might complain to a local political leader or educational bureaucrat when we don’t like something going on in our children’s schools.
Equally real was their sin and the depths and punishment they faced because of it. Experiencing political and geographical slavery served as a rather intense reminder or how serious God was in dealing with sin. In our post-Jesus’-death-and-ressurrection age, I think we may take that more lightly than serious. And the current sermon series will, I hope, cause us to reflect more on the effects sin can have on our ability to have a close relationship with God and thereby to really, honestly, truthfully worship him.
Maybe we need more of this attitude in us when we worship, the kind of desperation that would plead with God to restore and revive us, that we may rejoice in Him.