Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Psalms 5 and 6 are what we call Individual Complaint Psalms.  Psalm 3 from yesterday was another example.  I have to admit, I struggled through these complaints.  I am all about hearing complaints.  I know that God loves to hear our complaints much the way he loves to hear anything we have to say, but I'll be honest, I didn't want to hear them.  I didn't want to hear the author asking for God to smite his enemies.  I didn't want to hear all the violence that was the Psalmist was attributing to God.  It made my stomach churn.  I read them a few weeks ago while I was sitting with Dad in the hospital room.  I'm sure my displeasure had to do with that, but it was hard for me.

It seemed odd to me that God "didn't enjoy wickedness" (5:4) but then God was asked to "condemn them" and to "Let them fail by their own plans.  THrow them out for their many sins" (5:10).   It was hard to read "Have mercy on me, Lord, because I'm frail.  Heal me, Lord, because my bones are shaking in terror" (6:2) in the same breath as "get away from me all you evildoers because the Lord has heard me crying!" (6:8-10)

What do you think?  Is it ok that this was a song used in worship?  What picture does this paint of God? How would you relate to this God?

Pastor Emily

Dear God--Hear our cries, no matter how selfish they may be.  But, turn our hearts to you, so that all we sing are songs of your praise.  So that all we want is the joy of your love.  So that all we do is find ways to love your creation and people more--even our enemies.  In Your name we pray--Amen!


Lindsay said...

I was thinking "I can't imagine hearing this song on one of my first visits to church." I might have been a little worried as a non-believer then. Certainly God doesn't like evil, but they are still within His love and grace!

Martha J. M. Orlando said...

A blogging friend of mine who attended seminary gave his readers an incredible insight regarding the "smite the enemy" Psalms. He asked, "What if you look at these as praying for God to remove the demons in the world, which stalk and destroy us?"
Man! That was such an enlightenment for me! Now, I am able to read these psalms an entirely different way - not asking God to destroy the person, but the devil within. Give it a try!
Blessings to all!

Mom said...

In 5:7&8 doesn't the Psalmist say that it is God's mercy that allows us to come into His house. That when he reverently bows down to God he can ask God to lead him and make His way known to him. That's what makes God's people different, the willingness to admit that we are just as evil as the rest and that without God's mercy we can't relate to him or submit to His way. So just like God is merciful to us, we must be merciful to others, even though we would like God to destroy them (or the devil within them) Psalm 6 -Even when we are faint, sick to the bones, crying all night, God is merciful to us and hears our cries. Good thing to know, to remember when we are going through tough times!

Kennesaw UMC said...


Carol Flores said...

I sensed that the writer of these Psalms was experiencing intense spiritual attacks, maybe even physical. What better place to turn than to God and beg humbly for mercy and protection. We experience all levels of spiritual attacks during every day. I pray we can remain mindful that we cannot fight that battle alone. We are weak and need Gods power to help us defeat evil.

Morgan said...

I've been up in the mountains of North Carolina all week, so I've been trying to keep up with the readings, but with unreliable internet, it was difficult to read the blog and post. The part that caught my attention was the second half of 5:7... "I will bow down toward your holy temple in fear of you." The training that I was at this week was all about relationships... relationships with yourself, others and God. Using the theory of the model I that we were learning, a good healthy relationship is one of mutual respect because a relationship in which one person is fearful is a dominating relationship. I don't like the idea of a God that I fear. In fact, I don't believe there has ever been a time in my life that I feared God. God doesn't dominate me and my life, I was given free will to make decisions for myself.