Congress in session

23 Jan

Psalm 58 is perfect for our political lives these days.  The writer is venting about those in power who are not caring for “the common good”.  The psalmist expressive anger will probably NOT help to “reach across the aisle”, but sometimes it is the way we feel about those who do not agree with our political views.

1-2 Is this any way to run a country?
Is there an honest politician in the house?
Behind the scenes you brew cauldrons of evil,
behind closed doors you make deals with demons.

3-5 The wicked crawl from the wrong side of the cradle;
their first words out of the womb are lies.
Poison, lethal rattlesnake poison,
drips from their forked tongues—
Deaf to threats, deaf to charm,
decades of wax built up in their ears.

The description of the people is that they lie and do not listen is clear.  “Decades of wax built up in their ears”; what a great image.   It is those in power who have no integrity and are not responsive to the needs of the community that stand accused.  Often in our culture those who take political office use that power for their own purposes.

I imagine that in the time of the psalmist that political dishonesty was a levels far beyond what we have ever experienced.  Yet, in the scripture, there is a call for honesty and integrity for those who rule the people.

6-9 God, smash their teeth to bits,
leave them toothless tigers.
Let their lives be buckets of water spilled,
all that’s left, a damp stain in the sand.
Let them be trampled grass
worn smooth by the traffic.
Let them dissolve into snail slime,
be a miscarried fetus that never sees sunlight.
Before what they cook up is half-done, God,
throw it out with the garbage!

10-11 The righteous will call up their friends
when they see the wicked get their reward,
Serve up their blood in goblets
as they toast one another,
Everyone cheering, “It’s worth it to play by the rules!
God’s handing out trophies and tending the earth!”

As we have experienced the smooth continuation of power for our country, we can give thanks to our faithful God.  Even through the decisions made in the political realm of our lives might not be to our liking, we can voice our concerns, we can gather others to change systems we believe need changing, we can openly worship God in whatever way speaks to us.

I encourage you to give a prayer of thanks today.  Our system of government is far from prefect, but we have the power to change our lives and lives of those whom God cares for deeply.

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