If you are looking for a Lenten reflection that will bring you comfort, turn the page. This is not that. The words of Asaph can only be described as harsh, even jarring. If anything, they put us on edge. God’s words, for those who dare hear from Him, are more like a punch in the face than gentle arms generating warm feelings. Yahweh’s appears here, among His own, to judge (vs. 1-6), to rebuke (vs. 7-15), and to condemn those that have forgotten their covenant relationship and the faithfulness that accompanies it (vs. 16-23).
Today we need to be reminded of a central element of His Gospel. God tells us the truth about our brokenness. He did that when we first realized the depth of His grace and surrendered our lives to Him. Here we learn He will do it over and over again. He tells us the truth about our brokenness because we really want Him to. In a crazy, perhaps unexpected sort of way, it is good news. We want to know what we might be embracing that interferes with the promise He made to bring us to maturity, to experience a fuller measure of a life designed to be abundant.
Lord, please show me the reality of my present condition. Lord please renew my mind, Lord please restore to me the joy of my salvation. Lord, we give you permission again to remind us of your sacrificial love, your righteousness, your desire for deep relationship. Rebuke us for reducing our relationship with you to obligatory “re-gifting” of the stuff in our possession that belonged to you in the first place.
Today, God’s invitation is to re-examine the current status of our relationship with Him. To invite Him to point out what is true and what may need to be corrected or restored. Take some time to listen now.
Finally, note the response to the Lord that brings restoration described in verse 23 “Those who sacrifice thank offerings honour me, and they prepare the way so that I may show them the salvation of God”.
Finish by taking some time to thank God for His many gifts of grace. Begin by giving thanks that He is a truth teller.