Note: During Lent, my congregation is walking through a Bible reading plan, and I am posting personal reflections on those Scriptures…
Psalm 77:11-15 (ESV) – I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, 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.
You with your arm redeemed your people,
the children of Jacob and Joseph. Selah
When I was 10 years old my family moved to Washington DC, and for anyone who has ever been there it is filled with memorials and monuments. I remember seeing the Lincoln Memorial for the first time and being blown away by its size, the detail of the statue itself, and the words etched on the walls. Those words reminded all the visitors of the leader Lincoln had been and the trajectory on which he, and leaders like him, had set our country.
Why do we set up memorials or monuments?
There are times when we NEED to remember the deeds of great men and women. For our country, when we go through the challenges of war, internal divisions, or economic instability it’s those monuments that remind us we have weathered those storms in the past and have the ability to do so again.
In Psalm 77, the writer is in trouble. If you read the first nine verses, the picture painted is bleak; sleepless nights, loneliness, fear, and desperate prayers to God fill the author’s heart and mind, and he wonders, “where is God?”
Maybe you’ve been there. Maybe you’re there now.
The author responds by remembering the Lord’s work in the past. He remembers his saving mercy and the strength of his redemptive power. God has fulfilled his promises over and over and over again, and from God’s creative power to the salvation of the exodus, it’s on those moments that the faithful writer hangs his hopes.
I have had to do the same thing. In times of hardship and crisis, I look at family pictures, hug my kids, kiss my wife, and open up God’s Word. Those are my monuments to God’s goodness and love for me. Not only am I reminded of God’s work throughout history and how he has ultimately saved in me from the depth of my sin in Jesus Christ, but I see his work in my home, the ministry of his Church, and in the smiles of my kids and wife. There are certainly rough times and terrible tragedies, and I have had times when I have doubted God’s plan and goodness… but that’s why we have monuments: The great work of the past gives us a hope for the future – and in Jesus Christ that hope is secure.