We do not see our signs;
there is no longer any prophet,
and there is none among us who knows how long.
Last week we attended the funeral of a child whose life outside the womb could be counted in seconds.
When you attend funerals like this you wonder, “How long?”
When I was 24 years old, I was diagnosed with a chronic disease that would affect me every day for the rest of my life. I began to ask that question, “How long?”
Another time I lie on a hospital bed in the ER. The pain was more than I could bear. I felt ready to depart from this world. “How long?”
Others wrestle with infertility, abandonment, abuse, rejection, and a host of other afflictions.
We ask ourselves. We ask God. How long? How long will this suffering continue? How long will death and pain and sadness have the upper hand? How long until all is made right? How long until justice is realized? How long until the oppressed are vindicated?
But there are no prophets to answer for God. There is no one to go before God to get an answer.
There is a God but there are no prophets. We know He is there, but we cannot hear his voice.
So no one knows how long.
No one knows how much more we must endure.
No one knows how many more children we will lose.
No one knows how many more years until we can conceive.
No one knows how many more nights before our fathers come back home.
No one knows how long.
This is the cry of the Hebrews enslaved in Egypt!
This is the cry of the Jews cast out into exile!
This is the cry of a dark, dark world grasping for just one particle of Light!
And what’s the response?
There is a God but there are no prophets. Who will speak for God?
The rest of Psalm 74 reads much like the last few chapters of the book of Job. God reminds the author and readers that He alone is God. He gives and He takes away. He is the only Sovereign. He is the creator and sustainer of the entire universe.
Then in Psalm 74.20, he says, “Have regard for the covenant…”
The psalmist here appeals to God’s self-limitation. In the words of Jonathan Edwards, God has condescended Himself in binding Himself by covenant to his people.
Here is the Word of The Lord from Deuteronomy 7.9,
“Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.”
For how long?
Until we stand before our God face-to-face.
Then, and only then, it will all make sense.
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.
For further reading, please, check out my previous post “There is No God and We are His Prophets“.