Day 11: Psalms to God's Justice

Psalm 120:7 "I am for peace, but when I speak they are for war." From a French publication of paintings by Benejou Rabinowicz based on the Psalms entitled Benn.

Today’s Reading
Psalms 7, 26, 82

Pastor Lisa’s Journal
Scripture
O let the evil of the wicked come to an end, but establish the righteous, you who test the minds and hearts, O righteous God.
– Psalm 7:9

Observation
In Psalm 7, the author is in deep trouble- pursued and persecuted by lying, scheming enemies so strong and violent they are compared to ravenous lions. In great need, the psalmist turns to God for sanctuary and salvation. Save me! Deliver me! Rise up, O Lord against the fury of my enemies! Let the evil of the wicked come to an end!

What’s so amazing about this psalm are the pauses for self reflection in the midst of the pleas for help. Reread verse 3, 8, and 9. See the psalmist asking, “How have I contributed to this conflict? Is this an appropriate consequence for my actions or am I just getting caught in the backwash of other people’s sin? Judge me and test me, too.”

It’s logical for us to want God to save us from our enemies, but it takes real spiritual maturity to pursue the lessons of God’s discipline for ourselves as well.

Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.- Martin Luther King, Jr.

We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice,
we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief.
Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now.
You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.

-The Talmud

Application
Praying for God’s justice applies not only to others, but also to us.

Matthew 7:12
Jesus said, “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you;
for this is the law and the prophets.”

Prayer
Righteous Judge, Seer of seers, test my mind and heart. Help me to recognize my destructive ways. Make real to me my contributions to conflict. Thank you for your gifts of discipline and discernment. In your great mercy, deliver me from myself as well as those who wish me harm. Fill me with your Spirit. Empower me to end injustice in your Name and for your Glory. Amen.

***********
For a Reader’s Theater version of Psalm 7, click here

You are invited to join me on a summer adventure through one of the most beloved books in the Bible, Psalms.  To download the Summer in the Psalms reading plan, click here Psalms Reading Plan

As you read, you are encouraged to use the SOAP Method for keeping a spiritual journal, as taught at New Hope Christian Fellowship in Hawaii. For more information on this simple and powerful way of engaging the Word of God, please click here or use the simple instructions provided in the reading plan itself.

I look forward to reading your comments and to all that Jesus will do in you and through you as you seek him this summer. – Lisa <><

PS- For more information on the scripture translation, art and the use of this devotional in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.

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