Why No One Laments on The Walking Dead

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March 13, 2021

Psalm 79

To the tune of “O Sacred Head Now Wounded” 76.76. D Sing it at seedbed.com/soundtrack

1 The nations have invaded
Your heritage, O God;
They have defiled Your temple;
Jerus’lem’s now but sod.
2 They’ve given the dead bodies
of Your own saints as meat,
As food to birds of heaven,
and beasts of earth to eat. 

3 They’ve poured out blood like water
around Jerusalem;
The dead are strewn, there’s no one
to care or bury them.
4 We’re objects of reproach to
our neighbors everywhere,
Of scoffing and derision
to those around us there. 

5 How long, O Lord? Forever
will You be filled with ire?
How long will jealousy and
Your anger burn like fire? 
6 Pour out Your wrath on nations
who don’t respect Your fame;
Your anger on the kingdoms
that don’t call on Your name.

7 For they’ve devoured Jacob,
his homeland laid to waste;
8 Don’t hold the sins of fathers
against us—come in haste!
9 Help us, O God our Savior!
For glory of Your name;
Deliver and forgive us,
for the sake of Your name. 

10 Why should the nations, boasting,
in pride say, “Where’s their God?”
Before our eyes, make known to
the nations far abroad,
That You avenge Your people
and see their blood outpoured,
That You, before our eyes, show
Yourself to be the Lord. 

11 May groaning of the pris’ners
come to Your ear and eye;
By greatness of Your power,
preserve those doomed to die.
12 Pay back into the laps of
our neighbors sevenfold
reproach that they have hurled, Lord;
and insults they have told. 

13 Then we who are Your people—
the sheep of Your own field—
will thank You, and forever
all praise to You we’ll yield.
And from one generation
unto all length of days,
We will recount Your glory,
and will tell forth Your praise. 

CONSIDER THIS

Post-apocalyptic literature is on the rise these days. From movies like The Road and World War Z to the popular AMC series The Walking Dead, the post-apocalyptic genre is all about the meaninglessness of a life without hope. In these stories, conditions are so far beyond bad that concepts like justice and even civilization are beyond imagining. There’s not much singing going on.

That’s what is surprising about Song 79. It has all the tones and strains of post-apocalyptic storytelling. The people of God had endured cataclysmic tragedy. Take a second look at those first two stanzas. It’s worse than bad. The big difference between this song and others like it? There is a bigger story surrounding the apocalypse. This bigger story creates the reality of hope. And hope creates the possibility for genuine lament.

What is missing in today’s post-apocalyptic stories is hope and, consequently, they are devoid of lament. Life has been reduced to mere survival. There is no bigger story. Sure, there’s plenty of personal drama, but no one is crying out to God in any significant way.

I’m coming to the conclusion that lament is the authenticating sign of hope and, consequently, a key indicator of real faith in God.

And remember, lament is a song.

Ask Yourself. Share with Another.

Have you resigned yourself to some inevitable, unfavorable outcome concerning a situation in your life? In other words, have you let go of hope? Are you just trudging on? Surviving? Would you be willing to take the risk to lament over this situation before God? Can you wrap your mind around a story bigger than the one defeating you right now?

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt
Sower-in-Chief
seedbed.com

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Farmer. Poet. Theologian. Jurist. Publisher. Seedbed's Sower-in-Chief.

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