1Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?
2The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined.
3For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth.
4The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.
5His ways are always grievous; thy judgments are far above out of his sight: as for all his enemies, he puffeth at them.
It wasn't hard for the children of Israel to believe that their God was far off. They had suffered, suffered more than any people should have had to suffer. They suffered in Egypt. They suffered wandering in the desert. They suffered at the hands of their enemies, these cruel masters from foreign lands, struggling to keep a home, to find a home that they could call their own. And many times, many times, in believing that God had not heard their cries, had not heard their pleas, they would turn to foreign gods, these gods with eyes that could not see and ears that could not hear their cries in their adversity. But God, God was there. God was there to deliver them from the hands of the Egyptians, He was there to deliver them from the hands of their enemies, whether it was through Joshua or Gideon or David. He was there to lead them back to His path of righteousness, each and every step of the way, through the works and words of His prophets, and ultimately He would lead us all back through the life, the death and the sacrifice of His only-begotten Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, He who led the greatest of captivities captive and ransomed us all.
Today it's still not hard to see God being far off, still it's not hard seeing God as being distant. We wonder where He is in all the chaos of this world, we wonder where He is in the plights that are faced. We wonder where He is in the struggles of the hostages and captives that are taken, we wonder where He is the plight of those humans who are trafficked. And yet we come to one inevitable, one unalterable, one unchangeable truth: God is there, and in His time He will deliver each and every one of His children if faith is placed in Him. If we come to Him in himble supplication, saying "Lord, Lord, see the plight, see the struggle of Your people. Hear their cries of anguish, hear their struggles." And there we know that the Lord will never be far off, He will be there by the side of each and everyone of those who face their deepest of challenges, who have the most wounded of souls. And as He has delivered His people throughout all ages, throughout all times, as He has led His prophets and apostles and disciples and saints, throughout the deepest of challenges, so too will He always be there to lead His children. That, that is a sacred trust, for that is the faithfulness of our Lord. So let us not be as the Psalmist was, asking "Why standest thou far off O Lord? Why hidest thyself in times of trouble?" But rather, let us seek the Lord in all things, asking Him to be there with us, to be with all the captives and the prisoners who have been taken, throughout all places, throughout all times.
Lord, grant this unto us all.