What shall I do??

26 May

I come to psalm like #83 and I wonder why I decided to blog on the psalms.  There is a neurotic part of me that will not let me skip a psalm.  Also, I basically decided I would blog for a year, but now I am in the middle of the psalms.  I am not sure what to do.  Should I continue past the year to finish the psalms?  Again, a neurotic part of me feels like I need to finish what I start.

My life is fairly settled at this point.  I am going to stay at my little church in Smithsburg.  Mom and Dad remain about the same – I think they get a little weaker over time.  Life ebbs and flows with appointments and meetings and I find God waiting for me at every turn with grace and joy to share.

I think I have written all of this to avoid writing about psalm 83.   From what I can tell, the psalmist is calling out to God to get rid of God’s enemies.  The psalmist says these enemies are trying to get rid of God’s people.  I know in the early days of our faith story, we were a tribal people.  Let’s face it; the people of God started as an extended family created by Jacob with four different women.  So, this tribe wanted to make sure they survived over and against other tribes.  If you can get through the names of those other tribes, you are a better person than me.

1-5 God, don’t shut me out;
don’t give me the silent treatment, O God.
Your enemies are out there whooping it up,
the God-haters are living it up;
They’re plotting to do your people in,
conspiring to rob you of your precious ones.
“Let’s wipe this nation from the face of the earth,”
they say; “scratch Israel’s name off the books.”
And now they’re putting their heads together,
making plans to get rid of you.

6-8 Edom and the Ishmaelites,
Moab and the Hagrites,
Gebal and Ammon and Amalek,
Philistia and the Tyrians,
And now Assyria has joined up,
Giving muscle to the gang of Lot.

9-12 Do to them what you did to Midian,
to Sisera and Jabin at Kishon Brook;
They came to a bad end at Endor,
nothing but dung for the garden.
Cut down their leaders as you did Oreb and Zeeb,
their princes to nothings like Zebah and Zalmunna,
With their empty brags, “We’re grabbing it all,
grabbing God’s gardens for ourselves.”

The last stanza is the one I like the least; a call for God to “blow those people away.”  I understand the “us against them” mentality of these tribal people.  I think what upsets me is that there is evidence that we have not grown past this kind of thinking.  I pray that we can find ways of peace.  I pray we can see the divine spark in each human being.  I pray as we see the suffering that our natural environment is unleashing of our planet, we will work at not adding to the pain.

13-18 My God! I’ve had it with them!
Blow them away!
Tumbleweeds in the desert waste,
charred sticks in the burned-over ground.
Knock the breath right out of them, so they’re gasping
for breath, gasping, “God.”
Bring them to the end of their rope,
and leave them there dangling, helpless.
Then they’ll learn your name: “God,”
the one and only High God on earth.

Pray for peace, work for peace with justice; God will be there to lead us forward.


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