Morning Reflection 3/01/12 – Psalm 14

Spaghetti Monster

Denunciation of Godlessness

To the leader. Of David.

1 Fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds;
there is no one who does good.

2 The Lord looks down from heaven on humankind
to see if there are any who are wise,
who seek after God.

3 They have all gone astray, they are all alike perverse;
there is no one who does good,
no, not one.

4 Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers
who eat up my people as they eat bread,
and do not call upon the Lord?

5 There they shall be in great terror,
for God is with the company of the righteous.

6 You would confound the plans of the poor,
but the Lord is their refuge.

7 O that deliverance for Israel would come from Zion!
When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people,
Jacob will rejoice; Israel will be glad.

via Psalm 14:1 (NRSV) – Biblia.com.

Somethings aren’t as they seem. We might believe that there is a Nigerian prince who wants to use our bank account for a while to hold a few billion dollars, which, of course, we will be able to keep a portion of for our trouble. Just because we believe it, doesn’t make it so. Even when someone’s story seems legitimate, sometimes we discover things just weren’t as they seemed. Continue reading “Morning Reflection 3/01/12 – Psalm 14”

Morning Reflection 2/29/12 – Psalm 13

Prayer for Deliverance from Enemies
To the leader. A Psalm of David.

1    How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2    How long must I bear pain in my soul,
and have sorrow in my heart all day long?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

3    Consider and answer me, O Lord my God!
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death,
4    and my enemy will say, “I have prevailed”;
my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.

5    But I trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
6    I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.

via Psalm 13 (NRSV) – Biblia.com.

“How long, O Lord?” is a prayer that we have all prayed. Sometimes it seems like God has forgotten. We pray and pray, but heaven is silent. We wonder, “How long will I have to wait? How long will I have to hang on?” We want to trust God. We want our faith to be strong. Sometimes it seems impossible. We believe if God doesn’t answer soon, we won’t be able to make it. Continue reading “Morning Reflection 2/29/12 – Psalm 13”

Morning Reflection 2/28/12 – Psalm 12

Plea for Help in Evil Times

To the leader: according to The Sheminith. A Psalm of David.

1Help, O Lord, for there is no longer anyone who is godly;

the faithful have disappeared from humankind.

2They utter lies to each other;

with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.

 

3May the Lord cut off all flattering lips, the tongue that makes great boasts,

4those who say, “With our tongues we will prevail; our lips are our own—who is our master?”

 

5“Because the poor are despoiled, because the needy groan,

I will now rise up,” says the Lord;

“I will place them in the safety for which they long.”

6The promises of the Lord are promises that are pure,

silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.

 

7You, O Lord, will protect us;

you will guard us from this generation forever.

8On every side the wicked prowl,

as vileness is exalted among humankind.

via Psalm 12:1 (NRSV) – Biblia.com.

Maybe you can identify with David. He looked around at the way things were and felt like no one was faithful. All he could see were those who were bent toward evil. He saw those that  used words to flatter and who had “a double heart” when they spoke.  Continue reading “Morning Reflection 2/28/12 – Psalm 12”

Morning Reflection 2/27/12 – Psalm 11

Song of Trust in God

To the leader. Of David.

1 In the Lord I take refuge; how can you say to me, “Flee like a bird to the mountains;

2 for look, the wicked bend the bow,

they have fitted their arrow to the string, to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart.

3 If the foundations are destroyed,

what can the righteous do?”

4 The Lord is in his holy temple;

the Lord’s throne is in heaven.

His eyes behold, his gaze examines humankind.

5 The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked, and his soul hates the lover of violence.

6 On the wicked he will rain coals of fire and sulfur; a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup.

7 For the Lord is righteous;

he loves righteous deeds;

the upright shall behold his face.

via Psalm 11 (NRSV) – Biblia.com.

Sometimes storms come our way. The Psalms are a wonderful place to go for prayer when it seems like the world is crushing us. Many of the Psalms begin from a time or place of trouble. David knew what it was like to be pursued. He knew what it was like to be under attack.

Since David’s confidence was in God he didn’t worry even when his enemies were surrounding him. He didn’t understand why some would tell him to run away when his refuge was in God. He knew that God was still in control. He knew that God loved righteous deeds and was with the upright. Because of his confidence in God, he was able to face difficult situations calmly and in faith. Continue reading “Morning Reflection 2/27/12 – Psalm 11”

Morning Reflection 2/24/12 – Psalm 10

Prayer for Deliverance from Enemies

1 Why, O Lord, do you stand far off?

Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?

2 In arrogance the wicked persecute the poor—

let them be caught in the schemes they have devised.

3 For the wicked boast of the desires of their heart,

those greedy for gain curse and renounce the Lord.

4 In the pride of their countenance the wicked say, “God will not seek it out”;

all their thoughts are, “There is no God.”

5 Their ways prosper at all times;

your judgments are on high, out of their sight;

as for their foes, they scoff at them.

6 They think in their heart, “We shall not be moved;

throughout all generations we shall not meet adversity.”

7 Their mouths are filled with cursing and deceit and oppression;

under their tongues are mischief and iniquity.

8 They sit in ambush in the villages;

in hiding places they murder the innocent.

Their eyes stealthily watch for the helpless;

9 they lurk in secret like a lion in its covert;

they lurk that they may seize the poor;

they seize the poor and drag them off in their net.

10 They stoop, they crouch,

and the helpless fall by their might.

11 They think in their heart, “God has forgotten,

he has hidden his face, he will never see it.”

12 Rise up, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand;

do not forget the oppressed.

13 Why do the wicked renounce God,

and say in their hearts, “You will not call us to account”?

14 But you do see! Indeed you note trouble and grief,

that you may take it into your hands;

the helpless commit themselves to you;

you have been the helper of the orphan.

15 Break the arm of the wicked and evildoers;

seek out their wickedness until you find none.

16 The Lord is king forever and ever;

the nations shall perish from his land.

17 O Lord, you will hear the desire of the meek;

you will strengthen their heart, you will incline your ear

18 to do justice for the orphan and the oppressed,

so that those from earth may strike terror no more.

via Psalm 10:14 (NRSV) – Biblia.com.

Take some time to read this Psalm through a few times. Get a sense of the picture David is painting. How much do you agree? Does it seem like God is far off? Does it seem like those who are bent on evil and destruction are having their way? Do you believe that they live believing that God will not hold them to account and that doesn’t even see what they are doing? Continue reading “Morning Reflection 2/24/12 – Psalm 10”