How long, oh Lord, will my enemy triumph over me? David’s faithful cry is to trust in God’s unfailing love, even from the position of weakness and oppression and threat. God hears his people and he will not tolerate evil forever, as we see in Ezekiel’s prophecy today.
2 “Son of man, set your face against Pharaoh king of Egypt and prophesy against him and against all Egypt. 3 Speak to him and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“‘I am against you, Pharaoh king of Egypt,
you great monster lying among your streams.
You say, “The Nile belongs to me;
I made it for myself.”
2 “Son of man, take up a lament concerning Pharaoh king of Egypt and say to him:
“‘You are like a lion among the nations;
you are like a monster in the seas
thrashing about in your streams,
churning the water with your feet
and muddying the streams.
3 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“‘With a great throng of people
I will cast my net over you,
and they will haul you up in my net.'”
Ezekiel 29:2-3, 32:2-3
1 How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
3 Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
4 and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
6 I will sing the Lord’s praise,
for he has been good to me.
How long? This is an oft-sung lament of oppressed people and the children of Israel come to mind as they spent 400 years under Pharaoh’s control. How long, oh Lord, will my enemy triumph over me?
God did deal with Pharaoh, and Egypt was dealt with again in these prophecies from Ezekiel’s time. God is not slow to keep his promises, yet we count time differently than God, don’t we? This is particularly difficult when precious souls are born, live, and die in captivity. How long, oh Lord?
David’s faithful cry is to trust in God’s unfailing love, even from the position of weakness and oppression and threat. He sang God’s praise because God had been good to him. Good to him. That’s hard to understand when our circumstances do not seem good or feel good.
We feel like our enemy is powerful and winning and rewarded for their corruption. We feel like following God and pursuing righteousness is rewarded with being taken advantage of or being enslaved (thinking of Israel in Egypt).
The human perspective twists things into a form which often shuts out God and his goodness. We judge based on human experience and not from heaven’s view. God, however, is still there. He still loves. God still abhors evil, and he will still deal with evil-doers.
When the mockers, like Pharaoh, say that the mighty Nile is of their own making, God hears and takes note. He does not let them escape and flaunt their supremacy forever. Rather, God chooses his timing to accomplish his purposes, and on the way to reckoning, he is good to us in our circumstances if we put our trust in him.