“1 O God, why do you cast us off for ever? Why does your anger smoke against the sheep of your pasture? 2 Remember your congregation, which you acquired long ago, which you redeemed to be the tribe of your heritage. Remember Mount Zion, where you came to dwell. 3 Direct your steps to the perpetual ruins; the enemy has destroyed everything in the sanctuary.
4 Your foes have roared within your holy place; they set up their emblems there. 5 At the upper entrance they hacked the wooden trellis with axes. 6 And then, with hatchets and hammers, they smashed all its carved work. 7 They set your sanctuary on fire; they desecrated the dwelling-place of your name, bringing it to the ground. 8 They said to themselves, ‘We will utterly subdue them’; they burned all the meeting-places of God in the land.
9 We do not see our emblems; there is no longer any prophet, and there is no one among us who knows how long.
10 How long, O God, is the foe to scoff? Is the enemy to revile your name for ever?
11 Why do you hold back your hand; why do you keep your hand in your bosom?
12 Yet God my King is from of old, working salvation in the earth.
13 You divided the sea by your might; you broke the heads of the dragons in the waters.
14 You crushed the heads of Leviathan; you gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.
15 You cut openings for springs and torrents; you dried up ever-flowing streams.
16 Yours is the day, yours also the night; you established the luminaries and the sun.
17 You have fixed all the bounds of the earth; you made summer and winter.
18 Remember this, O Lord, how the enemy scoffs, and an impious people reviles your name.
19 Do not deliver the soul of your dove to the wild animals; do not forget the life of your poor for ever.
20 Have regard for your covenant, for the dark places of the land are full of the haunts of violence. 21 Do not let the downtrodden be put to shame; let the poor and needy praise your name.
22 Rise up, O God, plead your cause; remember how the impious scoff at you all day long.
23 Do not forget the clamour of your foes, the uproar of your adversaries that goes up continually.”
As we sat down to divide up the creatures great and small, there was one I had great hopes to be on my list, that of this mythical creature, Leviathan. If there is one creature of the Bible I knew and could speak to its importance in ancient Judaism and even, surprisingly today, it would be this creature. Leviathan represents chaos and terror. A massive sea creature that humanity fears and brings destruction, yet God is more powerful that it. As this psalm of communal lament reminds God, you were here for all these fantastic and powerful saving moments, where are you now? God has been a source of order and power of history and yet, in these times of trouble, the Psalmist asks of God to show such saving, covenant keeping faithfulness. While mythical beasts like Leviathan not able to cause terror any more, there is still a deep yearning for God’s saving grace even today.
My God and my King, while there are moments that feel evil has triumphed, we are assured of your faithfulness and ultimate victory is on the horizon. Continue to be that source of miracles. Continue to be that source of salvation, we ask in Jesus’ name, Amen.