Psalm 82 – Deal With the Injustice 

It is very important to respect the Word of God. Respect it for what it says and what it means. The meaning of the Word does to some degree depend on the time it was written and the meaning behind some terms and references. 

There conflicting accounts on who the ‘gods’ are mentioned in this Psalm. It is important when you consider Jesus would refer to verse 6 as part of His effort to get his opponents to see who He was. 

What is not so much in conflict is God’s charge to the ‘gods’ to be swift in dealing with the problem of the injustices pervading throughout the country. The stench of injustice really affects relationships with God. That’s why it doesn’t pay much to offer lip service. What it pays to do is to pay careful attention to the surrounding area and know when it’s time to act.  

Of course, Da

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden 

Psalm 81 – If Only You Would Listen

Two ears and one mouth, so an adage suggests, means we should be doing twice as much listening as speaking. Just being able to listen at all is the sad lament of the Lord in this tragic Psalm. 

What is particularly challenging in this Psalm is what is implied as the meaning of listening. This is not a passive exercise, this is active, engaging and responsive. God who rescued the people from slavery wants them to truly enjoy freedom. That freedom would be theirs if they could only be responsive and actively engage in the loving relationship He calls them to. 
The invitation is no different today. Asaph writes this Psalm and today it has the same powerful appeal to us to invest time and energy listening. Jesus, Himself would heartily encourage anyone with the ears to hear to listen closely to what God is saying. 

As we listen there are so many ways in which we can benefit. We can be recipients to so much that comes with a right relationship with God. Just like any relationship, it’s success is based on both parties carefully listening. God heard our cry, God heard our distress, He wasn’t half-hearted in responding. So amazing was His response to our situation. Yet when it comes to giving due courtesy to the One who saved us, we are wilfully ignorant? We want Him to do what we want, but we don’t care to hear what He wants? 

Let’s repent of that attitude. Let’s be the people who learn from history rather than being doomed by repeating it. We can remain free and walk into all of God and the beauty in knowing Him …

If only we would listen. 

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden 

Psalm 80 – Cry for Restoration 

You know when things are not right in a relationship, if you really pay attention. 

The answers are more clipped, there is a sense that the distance is greater between you. What was once warm and engaging now appears stilted and clinical. It is when you remember what you did that you see the need to ask for forgiveness. That you want to remind the other of how good things were before and how you so long for that relationship to be back what it was. The cry for restoration is only as strong as the relational bond behind it. 

The Psalmist crying out for restoration is something great from which we can learn. Something we can see in terms of the value of relationships, to the point that you want nothing to get in the way of it being as it may have been before. 

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden 

Psalm 79 – Tough Times and Tough Talk

Our sensibilities might find this Psalm unsettling. Some of our sensibilities, that is. When the going gets tough it can evoke some tough talk. 

The situation was definitely tough here. God’s people being abused, God’s house being abused, the name of the Lord was up for abuse by those who chose to do something to see Him belittled and rendered irrelevant. That degree of abuse cannot be rationally discussed in calm fashion. When what is dear to you is violated so flagrantly it must evoke much more than just a cerebral response. 

The talk has to get tough. The enemy has to be dealt with, the opposition have to be held to account, sometimes it’s a bit more than justice we desire. We want those who have committed such atrocities to be given the worst possible treatment. That’s honesty. That’s tough talk. 

Underlying that, however, remains the desire for God to be revered for all the wrongs that have taken place to be made right. The desire is for him to be strong and show Himself strong so that those around us can know beyond a shadow of a doubt who is in charge in the affairs of the universe. 

That, sometimes has to be expressed in tough talk for tough times. 

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden 

Psalm 78 – The Longsuffering God 

Exasperated. Sometimes this word is the most appropriate for interactions with children. To be fair, I can imagine my parents may have expressed a similar emotion when considering their children. It’s particularly annoying when children fail to acknowledge and remember the level of sacrifice that it has taken to provide the standard of living they enjoy. Quick to grumble about not getting their own way, they are not as quick to remember not just getting their way, but escaping stronger reprimands for wrongdoing they committed. Just when you think they are getting it, they will pop up with another episode of a strop on because a sibling did something inconvenient to them or their parent didn’t allow them to get what they wanted. 

This Psalm is a long and tragic outline of how like a Father, God looked after His people. So many great acts done for them. Yet like that stroppy child, His people refused to acknowledge and remember all the good things that was done for them. Flagrant in their ignorance they would grumble against God and constantly put Him to the test. That degree of unruly behaviour lead to them reaping the consequences in some cases very heavy consequences. 

Yet time after time God would show mercy to them and not treat them as their sins merited. It doesn’t negate from His just character, it highlights how amazing His love is. It also shows what a good God He is to even go as far as to provide a good shepherd to shepherd the people with integrity and skill. 

Almost like another set of people could do with a Good Shepherd to keep us in line ever remembering His goodness and kindness to us and when we mess up, returning to Him in contrition. Ever grateful for the patient and long-suffering God. 

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden 

Psalm 77 – In Times of Trouble: Ponder & Meditate

I will remember the deeds of the Lordyes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds. Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God? You are the God who works wonders; you have made known your might among the peoples. (Psalm 77:11-14)

Do something! That’s the message screaming from every corner when bad times hit. Change something, do something better, get some help, try something new – Do something!

The thought of just meditating and pondering seems fairly flaccid, pathetic and passive. What’s that going to do?

Yet what makes this Psalm so encouraging is that the meditating and pondering that’s taking place isn’t just about feelgood sentiments, playing pleasant tunes that remind you of your childhood and focusing your chi. This pondering and meditating is actively reminding yourself in times of trouble just who you’re talking to.

Meditate on the God who rescued His people from slavery. Ponder on the God who took His people through the sea on dry land. Meditate on the God who rescued His people from the hands of the enemy. Ponder on the God who saw His creation doomed to destruction but in lovingkindness sent His only Son to bring about victory over sin and death and triumphantly call people from death to life and transfer them from the rule of darkness to the rule of the light.

Does that stop the bills from piling up? Will that stop the doctor from giving that diagnosis on the state of the pancreas? Is that going to stop your so called friends from bailing out on you when you need them the most? Are the enemies going to meekly surrender?

Yet in the midst of that, the Psalmist knows the power in the relationship with the God who is greater than the state of the economy, greater than the fatal prognosis, greater than the betrayal and greater than all those that seek to oppose the light and the right.

Sure there are still those tears and sleepless nights, but these are still invitations to ponder and meditate. As that happens there’s an invitation to deepen your relationship with the Creator of the universe and trust Him as you call.

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden

Psalm 76 – Acknowledging His Greatness in Ruling

It is you alone who are to be feared. Who can stand before you when you are angry? (Psalm 76:7)

Most people would not pick a fight with the world heavyweight boxing champion. They would not do it because they appreciate how much more superior their opponent would be in a fight. They look at the training, the dominance, the ability, the track record and they will do better than to pick a fight with him.

Good though you may be, there’s something about you that acknowledges that there is someone greater than you in this particular area. You are more than wary, wisdom even tells you, don’t mess around with greatness.

That kind of appreciation is something that runs throughout this particular Psalm. Don’t mess with the Great One – acknowledge how awesome He is in His rule, look at all those that sought to come up against Him and what happened to them. Consider the numbers of those who thought they could take Him on and what happened to them. Meanwhile He went about judging with righteousness and bringing about right rule wherever He roamed.

It would be great to be friends with the most powerful being in the universe, because you know that if you’re wronged, that authority has your back and you can rely on Him. That friendship, however, would also be built with that revered acknowledgement that greatness rules in all fairs – and is not to be trifled with.

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden