When you are ready to throw in the hotel room towel. . .

March 17, 2014

Psalm 60

O Lord, You have rejected us, and scattered us abroad;
You justly have been angry, but return to us, O God.

For You have made the earth to quake, and split it open wide;
Now heal its breaches, for it shakes and cannot long abide.

You’ve shown Your people desperate times, and hardship on them sent;
And You have made us drink the wine of staggering lament.

And yet a banner You have giv’n to those who do fear You;
That it may be displayed abroad, and witness to Your truth.

That Your beloved ones may be delivered and set free;
Save with the pow’r of Your right hand; O hear and answer me.

God in his holiness spoke clear, “I will exult o’er all;
For Shechem I’ll divide, and forth will Succoth’s valley call.

Now Gilead is mine by right; Manasseh mine shall be;
My helmet Ephra’m is; the scepter Judah is for me.

Moab’s my washbowl; and my shoe I’ll over Edom throw;
Shout loud, Philistia, o’er you I will in triumph go.”

O who’s the one who’ll bring me to the city fortified?
And who is he that to the land of Edom will me guide?

O God, is it not You who did reject and spurn us so?
Will You not now return, O God – forth with our armies go?

O give us help against the foe, for help from man is vain;
Through God we shall do valiantly; He’ll tread our foes again.


My family recently experienced the horrors of moving for the second time in one year. Hyperbole? Maybe. . . . . We relocated the first time from Kentucky to Tennessee. The second move took us from the outskirts of the city of Franklin to the heart of the community. Moving across town can be very deceptive. Something deep within tries to convince you that what took very large trucks to move you a few hundred miles will only take a few carloads to get across town. BIG MISTAKE. About half way into the move, which took weeks instead of days because of this faulty approach, and after about the fifth night in the Embassy Suites with seven of us crammed into one room, without clean socks, at the brink of civil war. . . we needed Song #60.

O Lord, You have rejected us, and scattered us abroad;
You justly have been angry, but return to us, O God.

The details behind this Psalm are somewhat complex, so here’s the bottom line. King David found himself fighting battles on multiple fronts. While he was off fighting one battle, another enemy made a sneak attack on Jerusalem. And if that weren’t enough, an earth quake happens. The adage, when it rains it pours, comes to mind.

It’s usually half way into the job when things start to come unglued. You’ve come too far to turn back, but the obstacles seem too many to press on. It is in the mess of the middle that we must  learn to sing the mixed melodies of hope and hopelessness. God, you have rejected us yet we know you will tread our foes again. Embracing uncertainty, we must sing both songs simultaneously. Song #60 shows the way.

It’s never neat and songs like these refuse to try and wrap it all up in a bow. These melodies leave lots of fraying loose ends. Something about singing out this angst of ambiguity to God has a way of moving us forward; even if we remain stuck in hotel room hell for another week.

Give it a shot. Try on this melody for size. CLICK HERE.

J.D. Walt writes daily for Seedbed’s Daily Text. He serves as Seedbed’s Sower in Chief. Follow him @jdwalt on Twitter or email him at


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