Psalm 79:5: “How long, LORD? / Will You be angry forever? / Will Your jealousy burn like fire?”

December 22nd, 2020 by Pastor Ed in devotional

It is said that this is the verse that Aurelius Augustinus (Augustine) quoted in September 386, at 33 years of age, under a fig tree in Milan. When God’s people are being disciplined, they often cry out, “How long?” As Augustine was crying out to God for forgiveness and spiritual understanding, he heard a voice say, “Take up and read. Take up and read.” He opened a scroll to Romans 13:13–14:

Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

Augustine later wrote, “No further would I read nor had I any need; instantly, at the end of the sentence, a clear light flooded my heart and all the darkness of doubt vanished away.” God responds to our confession and repentance just as quickly and completely today as He did for this man in 386.

“Thank You, LORD, that You are not angry with us forever nor do You wipe us from memory. Please forgive us and use us this day.”