When I am weak …

 

“And I say: `My weakness is, The changes of the right hand of the Most High.'  I mention the doings of Jah, For I remember of old Thy wonders, And I have meditated on all Thy working, And I talk concerning Thy doings.” (Psalms 77:10-12) (Young’s Literal Translation)

  

                In this world where it seems that only strong can survive, everyone seems to be striving to become strong in many ways.  It seems that we are trying not only to be strong physically, but also to be strong intellectually and socially.  Therefore, it seems that we don’t easily admit our weaknesses in front of others.  However, we are forced to realize more and more how fragile human beings are due to the storm-like adversity and hardships of our lives in this world.  No matter how strong the young people are, what can they do in front of their own deaths if they were sentenced to terminal cancer by their doctor.  We are truly weak and weak beings.

 

When we look at Psalms 77:10, the psalmist Asaph confessed “My weakness”.  Asaph, who admits to his weaknesses, says that in the end, because of his weaknesses, he began to think weakly.  What were his weak thoughts?  Look at Psalms 77:7-9: “Will the Lord reject forever? And will He never be favorable again?  Has His lovingkindness ceased forever? Has His promise come to an end forever?  Has God forgotten to be gracious, Or has He in anger withdrawn His compassion? Selah.”  God never reject His people forever, but Asaph in his weakness thought, “Will the Lord reject forever?”  Although God is a gracious God who is pleased to be gracious and show favor to His people, Asaph thought that “And will He never be favorable again?”  Although He is the God of love who loves us forever without end, Asaph even thought, “Has His lovingkindness ceased forever?”  Although He is the God who faithfully fulfills the words of His promise, Asaph even doubted that God's promises would be over forever [“Has His promise come to an end forever?” (v. 8)].  Asaph was so weak that he couldn’t even feel God's compassion.  These were the thoughts the man Asaph had in his weakness.

 

Why did Asaph, who doubted God's love, grace, and compassion in his own weakness, come to acknowledge his weakness in this way?  The reason was because of the trouble that struck him (v. 2).  Asaph earnestly sought God in the day of his trouble and refused to be comforted without God's answer to his prayers (v. 2).  We can have weak thought that God has rejected us when our prayers are not being answered even though we cry out to God earnestly in the midst of trouble.  David  had this kind of weak thought.  In particular, in Psalms 22:1–2, when David prayed to God in the words of his groaning day and night, but there was no answer from God.  So he cried out to God, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” (22:1).  David and Asaph even felt that God had forsaken them in great pain during the day of trouble.  But, as we know, God doesn’t forsake us forever.  No matter how much Asaph cried out to God in so much pain, it seemed that there was no answer to his prayer.  That was why he thought that God rejected him forever (77:7).  Also, he was disturbed and his spirit grew faint (v. 3).  And he was very distressed because he couldn’t sleep (v. 4).  He was in great weakness spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally because of the trouble that came upon him.  What did Asaph do when he was in such deep weakness?  He decided to remember the deeds of the Lord of old: “I shall remember the deeds of the LORD; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.  I will meditate on all Your work And muse on Your deeds” (vv. 11-12).  He tried to overcome the present challenges by remembering and pondering all the things the Lord had done in the past.  He made a right decision in his extreme pain.  Why did Asaph want to remember all that God had done in the past? The reason was because he tried to meditate deeply on God's being through all that He had done.  Therefore, in Psalms 78:34-35, when the Israelites were being disciplined by God for their sins, the Israelites turned back and sought God earnestly, and they remembered that God was their rock and the Most High God their Redeemer.  Asaph meditated deeply who God was by remembering His deeds.  Like Asaph, when we are in pain and adversity, we must deeply realize our weaknesses and remember and meditate deeply on all the things God has done in our lives.  Therefore, we must deeply meditate on God's being through all that He has done.  By doing so, we can overcome our weaknesses.  In the midst of that, we will become stronger in the Lord through our weaknesses that we have realized through trouble.  Let's not forget that remembering the Lord is our strength.

 

 

 

 

Remembering what the Lord had done through my church college retreat about 33 years ago,

 

 

 

James Kim

(With the heart of meditating on John 6:1-15, the two fish and five loaves of bread miracle)