1 Come! Vindicate me, O my God! Against this nation plead my cause! Deliver me from wicked foes And hypocrites who break your laws.
2 You are my stronghold and my God; Why then have you rejected me? Why must I go about in grief, Downtrodden by the enemy?
3 O send your light forth and your truth! Let them direct me in your grace And bring me to your holy hill, Into your sacred dwelling-place.
4 Then to God’s altar I will go, To God, my joy and my delight, And I will praise you with the harp. O God, you are my God of might.
5 Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why are you so disturbed in me? Trust God, for I will praise him yet
My Saviour and my God is he.
You can hear a Free Church of Scotland congregation sing this to the lovely tune Old Clarendonian here
The writer, possibly a Temple Priest in exile, is expressing the feeling of being torn away from their previous close and intimate relationship with God.
So often, as the swirl of busyness and the turmoil of daily living surrounds and oppresses us, we can feel like a barrier has come between us and God. We can mourn that closeness and sometimes we just long, desperately long, for the smallest glimmer of light in the gloom that surrounds us.
Knowing that we feel like this sometimes, other people might also be struggling in their relationships with God? Maybe in how we live out and express our faith, God might be using us to be the light that others need?
The Psalmist concludes this lament with the realisation that despite the darkness they were experiencing, their hope in God is still burning. A hope which can’t be snuffed-out despite the sorrow, separation and suppression. It is my prayer that no matter what storms we face, the lights of God’s hope which burn within every one of us will never be extinguished.
When we feel isolated from you, remind us of your embracing love, When we can’t move out of our places of pain, encourage us to begin to walk with you, When we feel oppressed and overwhelmed, sit with us in our turmoil. Help us to see your hope that continues to burn within us, even when we don’t realise. God of hope, as we praise you, help us to see when we can offer your light into the darkness. We praise you. Our help and our God. Amen
John Grundy is an ordinand at the Northern College