Over the past week, I was drawn to Psalm 7 in light of some events taking place across the nation. It seems that among a people who talk about love, there is a lot of assumption. It seems that we want to think the best of people, but often in the moment we try to protect ourselves to the point of causing our neighbors harm…even death. In these moments, divided by loyalties and false lines drawn in the sand, how do we even begin to take a stand for what is right, what is just, what points to a solution to the epidemic of “Me” we witness through the media far too much? Well, I tuned into an ancient song…
1 I come to you for protection, O Lord my God.
Save me from my persecutors—rescue me!
2 If you don’t, they will maul me like a lion,
tearing me to pieces with no one to rescue me.
3 O Lord my God, if I have done wrong
or am guilty of injustice,
4 if I have betrayed a friend
or plundered my enemy without cause,
5 then let my enemies capture me.
Let them trample me into the ground
and drag my honor in the dust. Interlude
6 Arise, O Lord, in anger!
Stand up against the fury of my enemies!
Wake up, my God, and bring justice!
7 Gather the nations before you.
Rule over them from on high.
8 The Lord judges the nations.
Declare me righteous, O Lord,
for I am innocent, O Most High!
9 End the evil of those who are wicked,
and defend the righteous.
For you look deep within the mind and heart,
O righteous God.
10 God is my shield,
saving those whose hearts are true and right.
11 God is an honest judge.
He is angry with the wicked every day.
12 If a person does not repent,
God will sharpen his sword;
he will bend and string his bow.
13 He will prepare his deadly weapons
and shoot his flaming arrows.
14 The wicked conceive evil;
they are pregnant with trouble
and give birth to lies.
15 They dig a deep pit to trap others,
then fall into it themselves.
16 The trouble they make for others backfires on them.
The violence they plan falls on their own heads.
17 I will thank the Lord because he is just;
I will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.
The Psalm unfolds like this:
It is my belief that we combat culture’s diseases, not through social media or taking justice into our own hands, but through worship. However, the fact that we can have a time in which people die and tragedy occurs and things happen and our worship doesn’t change to reflect what David so often does in his Psalms, our need for God in every way, shows that we have disconnected our worship with our world…hence the “leave your problems at the door and come worship the Lord” idea…a terrible one. Or worse yet, God is not to be found in our pursuit of what is right or what is just, because instead of trusting the one who transcends the world yet is fully present in it…we trust ourselves ultimately to problem-solve problems that are beyond our ability (it seems).
I am reminded of the commandments of Jesus: first, love the Lord your God and second, love your neighbor. We cannot properly engage in loving our neighbors until we have come to a place in which we understand and live in the love of God. We stand in the gap between people who think it is better to throw away God and just love people…all people equally, and people who think we should love God so much that our response should be to hate people who do things that bring God displeasure. We stand in the gap…or we should…where it is proper to love God and allow God to love us, and then as our cup is filled we move out into our community to love our neighbors.
Lord, I want to love you more, more than I ever have before because my neighbors need to be loved and I am worthless in doing that without your love in me. Search me and check my motivations, bring justice to the wicked so I am not preoccupied in a search for justice, but can be engulfed in the commands to love.
I want to share thoughts, insights, and scriptures that lead us in the direction of Christ.