Wednesday, February 4, 2009
God is our salvation
Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me;
fight against those who fight against me!
Take hold of shield and buckler,
and rise up to help me!
Draw the spear and javelin
against my pursuers;
say to my soul,
"I am your salvation."
Let them be put to shame and dishonor
who seek after my life.
Let them be turned back and confounded
who devise evil against me.
Let them be like chaff before the wind,
with the angel of the Lord driving them on.
Let their way be dark and slippery,
with the angel of the Lord pursuing them.
For without cause they hid their net for me;
without cause they dug a pit for my life.
Let ruin come on them unawares.
And let the net that they hid ensnare them;
let them fall in it--to their ruin.
Then my soul shall rejoice in the Lord,
exulting in his deliverance.
All my bones shall say,
"O Lord, who is like you?
You deliver the weak
from those too strong for them,
the weak and needy from those who despoil them."
Comments: This psalm is just too convenient for me. It is just too easy to think that my adversaries will be taken care of by God. I got a nasty comment on stoneofwitness about by evaluation of the bishop in FTW. I could ask God to come down and wreck vengeance, but that is not where I want to be. In fact, I don’t really want their dishonor; I don’t want to draw my sword or javelin. I want to be able to articulate my vision for church just as anyone else. I need to deal with my desire for vengence. That is my sin. I know that I am forgiven and can stand in that forgiveness without a need to bring grief on those who are my enemies.
The God of the Universe neither comes down and wrecks vengeance upon my enemies, nor do I need to pray against others. For the message of the love of Jesus Christ to be heard, I must call upon myself to stand in the security of God’s love and articulate what I know to be truth. Only in that do the words of Psalm 35 have any meaning for today. But like the psalmist I can say, “O Lord, who is like you?” My strength is in God, not in the despoliation of the proud.