Monday, June 2, 2008

Psalm 14

The NET Bible renders Psalm 14:

For the music director; by David.

Fools say to themselves, "There is no God."
They sin and commit evil deeds;
none of them does what is right.

2 The LORD looks down from heaven at the human race,
to see if there is anyone who is wise and seeks God.

3 Everyone rejects God;
they are all morally corrupt.
None of them does what is right, not even one!

4 All those who behave wickedly do not understand--
those who devour my people as if they were eating bread,
and do not call out to the LORD.

5 They are absolutely terrified,
for God defends the godly.

6 You want to humiliate the oppressed,
even though the LORD is their shelter.

7 I wish the deliverance of Israel would come from Zion!
When the LORD restores the well-being of his people,
may Jacob rejoice,
may Israel be happy!

I love the NET note on the first line, "Fools say to themselves, 'There is no God.'" It says that this is probably not philosophical assertion, but a moral one. Fools live like there is no God.

This raises a good question for me. You claim to believe in God, but do you live like you believe in God. This psalm is not talking about philosophy, it is talking about ethics. How often do I live as though there is no God of justice? Too often.

"Father, I confess that Your heart is with the needy and disenfranchised. I confess that I have often been a contributer to a system that worsens their lot in life. I don't want to be a part of such a system any more. I pray that You will show me a new way--the way of Christ, the way that confronts the Empire with a radically counter-cultural initiative. I want to be a peacemaker. I want to hunger and thirst for justice. I want to show mercy. Teach me how to live justly in suburban America. Amen."

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