As terrible as rejection by someone on earth is, the sense of God’s rejection is worse—far worse. Do you feel that sometimes?
“Emotions,” rightly said, “are the language of the soul. They are the cry that gives the heart a voice. And, while the Psalms allow us to express our emotions, they seek to shape them into righteous ones.” The Psalms are “an anatomy of the soul” and, with David, Psalm 60 helps us cry out to God when we feel rejected by Him. Have you felt this? Can you do this? As you read Psalm 60, listen to the Holy Spirit through David and hear him pray: The trouble I feel, 1-3; The Promises I need, 4-8; and The Person I Trust, 9-12.
David feels rejected, 1-3. The context is a series of military defeats of David, “O God, you have rejected us, broken our defenses; you have been angry; oh, restore us” (v. 1). Notice the seven times David speaks boldly and emphatically to God in verses 1-3. “You”…It feels like You are angry, it feels like an earthquake, it feels like everything is out of control as if I am a drunk, etc. Verse 3 is striking, “You have made your people see hard things.” Been there?
As he prays, David recites the promises he needs, 4-8. I love this one, “You have set up a banner for those who fear You.” A banner designates a safe place of protection under our Divine Warrior. Jesus Christ is both a tender and powerful Warrior. He said, “Come to me you who have heavy burdens and I will give you rest.” And, don’t forget Matthew 25:31-46, where Jesus Himself tells of His soon coming as judge to make things right. Notice, too, the promise: God acts in holiness (v.5). Can we thrive with this reality: Whatever God does is right?
About fear, John Piper writes, “There is a fear that is slavish and drives us away from God, and there is a fear that is sweet and draws us to God. Moses warned against the one and called for the other in the very same verse. Exodus 20:20: ‘Moses said to the people, ‘Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin.’”
God is the person David and we can trust, 9-12. God has declared His sovereignty, His unwillingness to give up control in 6-8, in spite of what things may look like temporarily. Military might won’t be enough. Bank accounts and connections are nothing before the plans and person of the great I Am Himself. “Who” answers the solution of our trust, vss. 9-12. “With God we shall do valiantly; it is He who will tread down our foes” (12). Does this cause you to think of Immanuel, “God with us”?
Psalm 60 is desperate, dependent praying. A.W. Pink said, “There ought to be no restraint between you and the Lover of your soul.”
Like David and later, Jesus Christ!