Reading through the Bible together
This Psalm was written by Asaph after the Babylonians had destroyed Jerusalem. It was a dark time for the people of Judah. Solomon’s temple has been torn down and burned and the city lay in rubble and ashes, smoke rising from the utter ruin that remained. The people who have survived are war-weary, tired, and heartbroken. Many have seen their loved ones killed and their bodies lay unburied. Amidst all this, Asaph is crying out to God for a reprieve from their suffering. In reviewing their own history, the Israelites can recall many times of distress brought on by apostasy and rebellion, followed by God’s unfailing love and mercy poured out on repentant hearts. It is this mercy that Asaph is pleading for.
Have you ever reached that point where you wanted to grab a hold of God and wail, “That’s enough! I’ve had all I can take!” Whether with frustration, anger or desperation, we have found ourselves there. Perhaps our situation is a result of our own sin, or sometimes the results of just living in a sinful world. Or possibly it isn’t even a disaster or tragedy that brought you to your knees; even a difficult day can become overwhelming. Regardless of your situation, the unfailing love and mercy of God is also poured out on our humbled hearts, giving comfort and healing.
In Jeremiah 33 we can find the Lord’s response to His children’s cry for mercy. Beginning with verse four it says, “For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says about the houses in this city and the royal palaces of Judah that have been torn down to be used against the siege ramps and the sword in the fight with the Babylonians. . . I will heal My people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security. . . I will bring Judah and Israel back from captivity and will rebuild them as they were before. I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against Me and will forgive all their sins of rebellion against Me. Then this city will bring Me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it.'
This is God’s promise to you.
When you find yourself devastated by sin and in emotional turmoil, this is His answer to your anguishing cry. God promises abundant peace and security. What a beautiful gift! In spite of our failings, God’s love endures forever. "Give thanks to the LORD Almighty, for the LORD is good; his love endures forever" . . . ‘For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were before,' says the LORD” (Jeremiah 33: 11 NIV).