Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Rant Against Evil

I'm jumping around the Psalms, and opened to Psalm 52. The translations for this Psalm are all over the map. Different words, different rhythms, different phrasing. But what struck me immediately was that the writer was taking the first seven verses to rant, not just at the world in general or evil in general, but against someone. In this Psalm, it seems that the writer knows someone personally who is a tyrant, boastful, deceitful, wealthy, and this wicked person pushes all his buttons. The writer is incensed, furious. And he lets this fury fly out in words.

What is very intriguing is that even with so much ire spewing forth, the writer does not say "Hey God, give me the strength to take this guy down. I want my chance to pummel him, bring him to his knees. Let me do it, God, let me at him." No, the psalmist says:
Oh, that God would demolish you utterly, topple you, and snatch you from your dwelling, and root you out of the land of the living! Verse 5
God gets to take revenge and even in anger the writer is willing to let God to do that because...

Writer takes a deep breath. Boy, did I need to get that off my chest. Takes another cleansing breath. I'm good now. Because...

I am "...a flourishing olive tree planted within the house of God." I trust God's mercy, I trust God's love, I give thanks. I am that tree, solidly rooted. I am God's own. I don't need to waste energy on revenge. I need to take my energy out to declare God's " the presence of the godly". Priorities straight. Goal in sight.

It's a wonderful Psalm that I never read before. It reminds me that I may need to rant at the evil in the world. I may need that release. I need to recognize that it's not in my power to right every wrong. Where I can't, then I must be the olive tree, rooted in God, allowing God to resolve the issue. My job is to get back to the work of building the Beloved Community.

May it be so. Amen.

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