This post is part of my book launch, Meeting God at Wits’ End: Hope for the Weary
Submit in Hope
I am mute; I do not open my mouth, for it is you who have done it.
I’ve a significant preference for puritan writings over most of what’s written today. They were known as “physicians of the soul” and dug deep in God’s word to give Biblical answers to life’s challenging questions. Those answers weren’t always easy to digest, but they were based on God’s unchanging word.
They lived in a time when modern technology and adequate medical care were non-existent. The average lifespan was around forty years old. Disease and death were daily realities, including infant and child mortality. God’s people weren’t spared from these hardships.
In those days, books like Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential wouldn’t have made it on The New York Times List of Bestsellers. Rather, people needed Biblical answers to suffering, like many still need throughout the world.
Thomas Brooks, a 17th century English puritan, wrote a book on today’s verse: The Mute Christian under the Smarting Rod. He wrote in his introduction: “The afflicting hand of God hath been hard upon myself, and upon my dearest relations in this world . . . which put me upon studying of the mind of God in that scripture that I have made the subject matter of this following discourse.”
As David pondered a sinful, fallen world, with all mankind “as a mere breath” (v. 5), he realized the “vanity of vanities.” He wrote: “Surely for nothing they are in turmoil; man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!” (v. 6). What’s the point of it all? He realized, as Paul later wrote: “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope” (Rom. 8:20).
In a fallen world, with all its sins and sufferings, there’s only one hope: “And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you” (v. 7). When our afflictions have overwhelmed us, not even knowing what to say, we have to turn to God and His sovereignty. We have to realize that nothing is beyond His oversight and control. He’s still on the throne and for God’s people their best life is yet to come.
Jesus, help me to hope in You alone.
The Devotional Writer