October 14th, 2006

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Psalm 12

Saturday, October 14th, 2006

The poet was often what we would today label as depressed. Other good leaders of Israel like Moses and Joshua had also experienced depression.

He we find him first lamenting the fact that those upon whom he had depended for assistance in his leadership tasks had not been faithful. The poet is obviously very angry about this and asks for God to punish them.

Apparently, the triggering problem was the failure of those whom he had seen as friends and helpers to care for the poor. This is not an isolated comment. Again and again God speaks through the law, the prophets, poets and kings about the need for justice and fairness in society. Building a community where there is goodness and right still needs to be done.

I have found that it does not take much imagination to “blame the victims” when dealing with poor folk. Some have truly “fouled their nest.” Some do not listen. Some make bad decisons. Some will “con” you.

Regardless, I believe that God expects us to do right by the poor. We must not exploit them and abuse them. Do right and let God be the judge of everyone involved–you, the poor, the insensative, and the exploiter.

The final stanza of this psalm tells us to depend upon God. He will care for those who do right. And while the exploiters will fool the poor and make them think that they are really their friends and benefactors, and this will tempt to to get angry and abandon our effort to be of help, do not do it.

This was an issue for the poet. It is an issue for me. It is an issue for any sincere Christian.

Psalm 8

Saturday, October 14th, 2006

It seems that many of us think too well or too poorly of humankind.  In this psalm we have a very high view of humankind, but one that calls for us to recognize our subservience to the great and good God. Instead of being proud and arrogant we need to be amazed at the grace of God to continue to love and care for us.

He also notes that we can think too little of ourselves, or just not bother to think about the deep and important things at all.

Like small children we must maintain our wonder about the world as we discover more and more about it and find how wonderfully made it is.

Apparently the poet is amazed that God did not fire us after Adam and Eve disobayed him.  He was greatful.  And he declares that we ought to be very greatful.

Satan, I think, tempts to us lose our wonder about the world, the universe, our own bodies.  It is so easy to become complacent, or to become proud, or to become one who wallows in trying to satisfy our lusts. Sloth, pride and lust continue to push us away from a proper relationship with God, with one another, and with even ourselves.

We are wonderful.  We have important things to do.  We are fallen.  We are often very evil.  And we are lazy.  We are slackers.  Constantly, we have to struggle with all of this. We do so, by keeping focused on the fact to God is the Lord.  We are his servants. He asks that we obey him.