As you quiet yourself for this brief time, be willing to be open to God in whatever way that may take place.
Psalm 5 (NRSV)
Give ear to my words, O LORD;
give heed to my sighing.
Listen to the sound of my cry,
my King and my God,
for to you I pray.
O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice;
in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch.
For you are not a God who delights in wickedness;
evil will not sojourn with you.
The boastful will not stand before your eyes;
you hate all evildoers.
You destroy those who speak lies;
the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful.
But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love,
will enter your house,
I will bow down toward your holy temple
in awe of you.
Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness
because of my enemies;
make your way straight before me.
For there is no truth in their mouths;
their hearts are destruction;
their throats are open graves;
they flatter with their tongues.
Make them bear their guilt, O God;
let them fall by their own counsels;
because of their many transgressions cast them out,
for they have rebelled against you.
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
so that those who love your name may exult in you.
For you bless the righteous, O LORD;
you cover them with favor as with a shield.
A reporter was interviewing an old man on his 100th birthday. “What are you most proud of?” he asked. “Well,” said the man, “I don’t have an enemy in the world.” “What a beautiful thought! How inspirational!” the reporter responded. “Yep,” added the centenarian, “outlived every last one of them.”
We all have at one time in our lives had someone whom we perceived as our enemy. It may have been a grade school bully, a back-stabbing coworker, or an abusive spouse. The list of people who do wrong to us is endless. It may even include people who have committed inconceivable evil.
In this passage the psalmist is begging God to make things right. He pleads for attention and hope. When we are going through events in our lives that cause us to feel persecuted, we are tempted to take matters into our own hands. It is understandable to wish that God would “cast them out.” This psalmist goes to God for justice. In the end of the psalm we find hope. “For you bless the righteous, O LORD; you cover them with favor as with a shield.” It is not up to us to find revenge, but to trust God to make all things right. In fact, Jesus instructed us to pray for our enemies.
Dear loving and just God, show us your ways. Help us to trust in you. Help us to pray for our enemies as we seek to follow your path. In Christ’s name, Amen.
Go with God.