When the earth totters

Psalm 75.1

For many the Covid Pandemic will have been, and continues to be, a time when the foundations of their world have shaken to the point of collapse. Nothing is more shattering than the death or threat of death to those we love but added to this has been financial risks through loss of income or employment, the value of many people’s savings has plummeted. As a country we are daily told the death toll as compared with the previous day. Emotionally nearly all have suffered, families have been separated and for a while we wondered if and how it would end. Because nearly all of us in the West have been living in a period of nearly unprecedented peace and stability it has come as a huge shock. Living through times of societal trauma though is no new experience. Is there a distinctively biblical or Christian perspective that can be brought to bear and assist us when, ‘the earth totters, and all its’ inhabitants’? v3

Psalm 75 is a psalm of praise when just such an event has happened. The fact that it is a song of praise is in itself profound. Whatever has happened or is happening the psalm expresses confidence in God, rooted in a whole society’s experience of him over a long period of time. ‘We give thanks to you, O God; we give thanks, for your name is near. We recount your wondrous deeds.’ v1 We do not know for certain what events inspired this song of Asaph. Asaph was a great psalmist in David’s time but psalms that bear his name also derive from descendants and a school of Asaph that continued for hundreds of years. Probably the best fit is when Sennacherib of Assyria with the army of the world’s greatest power at the time arrived at Jerusalem’s walls, challenged the God of Judah and by an act of God met his downfall and was totally humiliated. 2 Kings 18-19

When a society is experiencing their greatest need, it is a time for God’s people (now the modern church) to give thanks and praise to God because of his wondrous deeds. In the time of the psalmist he would have recounted the Lord’s victory over Egypt and the gift of the promised land as well as God’s defeat of Sennacherib. For us we have an even greater victory to declare and one that changes not only society but individuals’ lives now and into eternity. Foundation shaking events cause people to question their lives and their futures. Some do not but many ask fundamental questions of life. The church in obedience to Christ should declare the Christian good news of Jesus and the confidence we have in him.

Have we continued to thank and praise our Lord during this time?

Have we shared our confidence and the reasons for it with others?

Trust In You (Live) – Lauren Daigle

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