|Weekly Devotional from Ed Black
Text: Psalm 5:
1 Give ear to my words, O Lord;
give heed to my sighing.
2 Listen to the sound of my cry,
my King and my God,
for to you I pray.
3 O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice;
in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch.
4 For you are not a God who delights in wickedness;
evil will not sojourn with you.
5 The boastful will not stand before your eyes;
you hate all evildoers.
6 You destroy those who speak lies;
the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful.
7 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.
8 Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness
because of my enemies;
make your way straight before me.
9 For there is no truth in their mouths;
their hearts are destruction;
their throats are open graves;
they flatter with their tongues.
10 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.
11 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.
12 For you bless the righteous, O Lord;
you cover them with favor as with a shield.
Good news: This highly personal psalm ("give ears to my words") affirms that the psalmist understands that God is in a relationship with "me." This includes you, me, and all of God's children. And, as much as I try to explain the Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) using seminary textbook language, the most straightforward explanation for me came from a pastor: The dimensions of God shown through the Trinity demonstrate that God wants to be in a relationship with each of us.
Bad news: Like any relationship, God is aware of the good and the bad we carry with us. Plus, we've been given one more thing that can cause us to team up with the "wicked:" our tongues. As one theologian writes, "Speech is the distinctly human capacity, the interpreter of others and of all around us. It is also the cheapest, most common and inhumane means of causing trouble and anguish for others."
Good news: Despite our ability to hurt with our tongues, we have been given another chance today to give ear to God's Word. If you are breathing right now, know that the opportunity of being led by the Lord always exists, an opportunity to follow the absolute truth. It is this path that delights the Lord.
Prayer: Dear God, Fill us with your Spirit this day and beyond. Empower each of us to resist the temptation of typing or speaking words of flame, choosing instead to remember your command to love our neighbors. Amen.
Work cited: Mays, James L. Psalms: Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching. (Louisville: John Knox Press, 1994), 58.