I am mute; I do not open my mouth, for it is you who have done it. Remove your stroke from me; I am spent by the hostility of your hand.” (Psalm 39:9–10, ESV)

I think there is no trial so difficult in our lives than one in which God’s hand is heavily against [or perhaps we might say appears to be heavily against] us.  David experienced this more than once, in some cases it was due to his own sin, but in others it was not. He asks God here to deliver him from his transgression and professes that “all my hope is in you.”  These are not the words of one who is running hard away from the Lord.

The grand question, and one which we do not really know the answer to is: why?  Why does God allow this?  Why did God allow Job to be so oppressed by Satan?  Why do some followers of Christ receive seemingly blow after blow which God in his sovereignty could certainly have prevented?

We really have no clue.  Job does not.  David does not.  Paul does not.  I do not.  Here is the bottom line:  God’s ways are a mystery sometimes, and none more so than when we are experiencing suffering and difficulty.  This is the nature of the life of faith.

Nicholas Estwick makes an interesting comment here: “We digest not a blow from our equals, but a blow from our king we can well digest. If the King of kings lays his hand on our backs, let us, beloved, lay our hands on our mouths.”

John Calvin once pointed out that the doctrine of God’s sovereignty ought to give us praise in prosperity, patience in adversity, and peace in the future.  David displays this attitude beautifully here.

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