You Have Rejected Us

Psalm 60:1 (ESV) -- O God, you have rejected us, broken our defenses; you have been angry; oh, restore us.

Not everything in life is chipper. There are hard times. Afflictions often prevail in people’s lives and hearts. What can compound the devastation and pain of these circumstances is to have a bad theology and unfounded expectations of God. Many believe, and promote, a version of Christianity that is free of pains and ailments. This leaves many feeling abandoned by God or that they’ve lacked the faith to thrive when troubles come. We do not have a great theology of lament in the church today.

Our passage today demonstrates lament for us. We see a passage that looks very different than how we typically talk as Christians today. This verse is one we never sing or memorize, and rarely teach. We read in Psalm 60:1, “O God, you have rejected us, broken our defenses; you have been angry; oh, restore us.”

We are so fast to try and protect God’s image, that we feel the need to correct the psalmist in this text. But we shouldn’t. We should listen. We should observe. The psalmist cries out. He speaks directly to God and says, “You have rejected us!” There are times in life when men and women feel this way. We may have the ability to reason in our minds that God hasn’t rejected us, but our hearts feel that He has. That matters. 

The psalmist continues that God has “broken our defenses.” He feels as though God has stripped anything away that was protecting Israel. They are embattled. Their troubles multiply. What do they believe is the cause of this? The psalmist says, “you have been angry.” They know they have sinned and strayed. They believe this is punishment from the Lord. It hurts, but they believe they deserve it. So the psalmist cries out, “oh, restore us.” It is a plea for mercy.

It is okay to pray for God to restore us and show mercy. But it is also okay to pray our feelings. Sometimes our lament during our brokenness is the realest prayer we can offer before the Lord.

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The psalmist models a realness that is often lacking in our vanilla churches that insist on speaking cliches rather than articulating our pain.

Reflection & Journal: 
- What is a lament?
- Why are laments so rare in churches today? Why do we fear/avoid them?
- How does this text inform our prayers before the Lord? How should we grow from this passage?

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