Here we find a psalm that speaks to a time and a place that could be decidedly different than the kingdom that David commanded, or his son Solomon or his predecessor Saul. The psalmist speaks of remembering hearing from the ancestors when God used to work mighty deeds and that God would lead the troops into battle. The assumption is that if he is walking down memory lane, with memories that are not his, then God is no longer working in the way that some have recalled. This Psalm might be better suited for when Israel went into captivity, not when it was one of the more powerful nations on the earth as it was during David’s reign.
I know I have heard many say that God simply does not work in the miraculous ways that he used to. Once the New Testament was written then a new age started which does not manifest God’s power in any of the same ways that God used to manifest himself. As the psalmist may have been referring to the days of the judges, so someone like Gideon who with a handful of men overtook the Midianites or before that Joshua who fought the battle of Jericho, God doesn’t work that way anymore, could be the interpretation of this psalm. Some have taken it to today where we hear just as Jesus walked the earth and healed and changed water to wine, and just as the Holy Spirit descended powerfully and visibly, that just doesn’t happen anymore.
Well, I respectfully disagree. I have seen people healed with my own eyes. I have seen miracles take place that were much more than coincidences. I have heard the voice of God lead and direct me in the past and I expect to hear Him again in the future. God does still work miracles. Starting at vs.9 we see the psalmist react to a reality that many of us experience. We need God to work a miracle but we simply do not see Him at work in this day and age. We focus upon the effect that this has on our life and we go so far as to say, as the psalmist does, that we have done no wrong, see vs.17-18. The blame for the author, and in many instances the blame that we cast as well, lies squarely on God.
Again, I respectfully disagree. God does not ever abandon us. We do feel abandoned at times, but they are the times that we have drawn ourselves away from God. Or, and this happens as well, we may be in a very intense relationship with God and yet we feel his absence. That feeling of absence normally comes about because we do not hear God’s answer to our prayer which may be no. If we don’t get the answer that we want then at times we feel as if God has abandoned us or is not listening. Read this psalm and be reminded that it is human for us to cast blame of our problems on God, but it is not helpful. God continuously and without fail shows his steadfast love.