Clearly, the psalmist’s community is going through a difficult time, blaming God for not interceding. The psalmist is reminding God of the days when Israel flourished, providing safety and rest for those already established among the people and for those seeking refuge. And then they ask, essentially, “What happened?” Given the recurring theme throughout the scriptures and throughout the history of God’s people, a good guess would be that they turned inwardly, away from God and away from the values of God’s kingdom. In vs. 17-18, the psalmist tries to strike a deal. “Let your hand be upon [us]…and we will never turn back from you; give us life, and we will call upon your name.”
How often do we want to attach strings to our devotion to God? How much easier is it to offer praise when things are going well? When have we been tempted to blame God when something bad happens? How can we better “own up” to our part in the problem?
Offer a prayer of confession and find assurance in God’s forgiveness and provision.