News and the Good News

The Psalm for The Week: May 10th

Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16 : For the week of May 10-16

Don’t spend all your time debating

It can be a real temptation to spend all our time debating about God or with God. A very close friend told me over many decades that he did not believe in God and yet, like Job and many others at times, he was shaking his fist at God and arguing with God all the time, usually about the problem of suffering and his own significant losses. His was not an uncommon posture: denying, debating, arguing.

That goes on in the Psalms, too. Israel contends with God. And yet, as a whole, the Psalms show Israel trusting that God hears. ‘Incline your ear to me’ is an earnest plea to God for God to listen and help. It’s no wonder that Israel thinks God hears. Their founding event as a people was God hearing the cry of the Hebrew slaves for liberation. So they continued to place themselves in God’s hands. So should we. Each verse of this Psalm speaks of how we might place ourselves with God. To do so, we have to stop arguing, debating, contending as the dominant mode of conversation.

Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16

In te, Domine, speravi

1 In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame; *
deliver me in your righteousness.

2 Incline your ear to me; *
make haste to deliver me.

3 Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe,
for you are my crag and my stronghold; *
for the sake of your Name, lead me and guide me.

4 Take me out of the net that they have secretly set for me, *
for you are my tower of strength.

5 Into your hands I commend my spirit, *
for you have redeemed me,
O Lord, O God of truth.

15 My times are in your hand; *
rescue me from the hand of my enemies,
and from those who persecute me.

16 Make your face to shine upon your servant, *
and in your loving-kindness save me."