“If we have forgotten the name of our God, or stretched out our hands to a strange god, would not God search this out? For He knows the secrets of the heart.” — Psalms 44:20-21 MEV
When I first began my meditation on this passage, it was only the second verse that appeared in my Bible reading plan – – and I ruminated on it for a bit, but felt like I needed the preceding verse to give me some context. And doesn’t it just?
“If we had forgotten the name of our God…”
Isn’t that what is happening to so many believers right now? The name of our God is mercy, compassion, forgiveness, love. But it seems like many of us have forgotten His name. We are afraid that our faith is going to be stamped out in America, so we are circling the wagons. We are afraid others, from outside, are going to destroy America, so we are rejecting them – – calling for them not to be allowed even to come into our country.
We see them driven from their homes and struggling as refugees, but we weigh our compassion against the risk we perceive if we allow them into our country, and we reject them. We see our LGBTQ brothers and sisters bullied and persecuted, and we’re afraid to stand with them because — you know, SIN!
Have we forgotten the name of our God?
Well, it’s all right. He will search this out. He understands our fears, even as he promises that perfect love casts them out. And he is perfect love. He has discovered what we are so afraid of, and he is asking us, will we be the generation that loves not our lives to the death but risks everything to show the world the name of our God – – the name of love, compassion, Mercy?
Perhaps it’s easy for me because I don’t have any biological children, and because I trust that my husband’s daughters are good-hearted and smart. I feel like they will be OK. But I know that even if we all go down in the name of Mercy, that’s not the end of our story. It wasn’t for Jesus. In fact, it was his great glory to surrender and then rise again.
If we have forgotten the name of our God, he will discover this, and he will remind us of the power in his name, the power of love.