After the Love has Gone, Where is the Joy?

When I read today’s text, Psalm 90, I heard the chorus of Earth, Wind and Fire’s song After The Love Is Gone. Don’t ask me why. My wife often asks me where do I get these obscure thoughts of songs in many a situation. I don’t know the answer to that, but all I know is that I hear the lyrics to songs in situations all the time.

Here is the portion of the words from their song that began to ring out in my ears as I read Psalms 90.

Somethin happened along the way
What used to be happy was sad
Somethin happened along the way
And yesterday was all we had
And oh after the love has gone
How could you lead me on
And not let me stay around
Oh oh oh after the love has gone
What used to be right is wrong
Can love that’s lost be found

Here are the words from Psalms 90 that caused me to think of Earth, Wind and Fire’s song.

13 Relent, O Lord! How long will it be?
Have compassion on your servants.
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
for as many years as we have seen trouble.

Both the song and this Psalm is about a relationship gone awry. In both instances, one is calling about asking what happened. Why are things the way the are? Since I did not write the song nor have I spoken with one of the writers, I can’t give you the impetus for the song. Conversely, I know the writer of this Psalm. He spoke to me and others about this Psalm. In fact, He spelled it out for us.

In the song, the writer states Somethin happened along the way. What happened in the text is that man was enjoying a sweet fellowship with but now it has soured and is filled with gall. He asks After the Love has Gone, Where is the Joy? Here, as well as in Psalm 6:3, the writer boldly asks how long God will permit his suffering to continue. He desperately seeks relief from the One who is able to give it. As stated in the post If the Joy of God’s Strength was only Enough, the suffering happened because they would not listen to Him; they would not submit to Him. When we fail to listen to or pursue God, we invite hardship and suffering. Listen, God has already appointed enough hardships in our lives to purify our faith. We do not need to add any more because we are stubborn and disobedient.

Where is the Joy? It is with God. When we decide to do our own thing, we relinquish our hold on joy. We forfeit our claim to joy. Fortunately, we serve a forgiving God who, after we acknowledge our sin and repent of it, forgives us and cleanses us from all unrighteousness (1Jn 1:9). Both writers want a return to the love they once enjoyed. If you want to be mad glad, return to God. Remember, “24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” (1 Peter 2:24-25)


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