April 07 2023
Today, Friday April 7
“But We Have Not Forgotten You…”
“All this has come upon us; But we have not forgotten You, Nor have we dealt falsely with Your covenant. Our heart has not turned back, Nor have our steps departed from Your way; But You have severely broken us in the place of jackals, And covered us with the shadow of death. If we had forgotten the name of our God, Or stretched out our hands to a foreign god, Would not God search this out? For He knows the secrets of the heart. Yet for Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Awake! Why do You sleep, O Lord? Arise! Do not cast us off forever. Why do You hide Your face, And forget our affliction and our oppression? For our soul is bowed down to the dust; Our body clings to the ground. Arise for our help, And redeem us for Your mercies' sake.”
We are not sure who wrote this Psalm but it is possible that it was written in the days of Hezekiah the King of Judah. The prophet Isaiah was prophesying judgment on the Northern Kingdom of Israel by the invading Assyrian army and it wasn’t looking good for the Southern Kingdom of Judah as the Assyrians were threatening them also.
The chapter begins with the psalmist remembering the stories of his father’s generation, who told them how God had protected and blessed the nation in times past and gave them this wonderful Promise Land (vv.1-8). During that time the people could said, “In God we boast all day long and praise Your name forever” (v. 8). But in verses 9-16, it was obvious that God’s presence was gone from the nation, and they were in an oppressed state.
Now in verses 17-26, it appears that there must have been a faithful remnant in the land who had not forgotten the Lord and was making a plea for mercy! Hezekiah was a good king who “did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done” (2 Chronicles 29:2). The psalmist declares the “God knows the secrets of the heart” (v. 21). In other words, he is pleading with God on behalf of those who are genuinely, from the heart, living for the Lord and His glory.
I am so thankful to know that even today in our country, there are those whose hearts are right with the Lord, and have become the intercessors in prayer for our nation and the lost world around us. It is amazing that Paul quoted verse 22 when he was reminding us that despite the fact we appear to be like sheep being lead to the slaughter, we can believe and know that nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!
Romans 8:35-39: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Yes, it might appear that God is asleep (v. 23) in our time of affliction, oppression, and distress! But my friend, we are assured that “He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber or sleep” (Psalm 121:4). We might feel like Job in the time of great suffering that can’t be explained, but by faith we should still say like he did, “Though He slay me, yet I will trust Him” (Job 13:15).
Despite how bad it might look for us, and around us, there is one thing we can and should always remember. On this Good Friday we remember the great love of God in giving His One and Only Son as a sacrifice for our sins! “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? (Romans 8:31-32). Don’t forget God! He has not forgotten you!