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This week we learned of another tragic death of an unarmed black man by his local police. We also learned of the second of three men found hanging from trees in the land of the free and the home of the brave. We are now in the third week of protest since the death of George Floyd and still too many are dying for no apparent reason at the hands of those who are to protect and serve. Public policy makers as well as business and civic leaders are looking for ways to hold back the tidal wave of black anguish that is flooding our nation even while a pandemic continues to take lives.
The words of the psalmist are informative for us for his is a plea to God while being overwhelmed by his enemies. Show me a sign of your goodness my enemies will see and be put to shame because you Lord have helped and comforted me.
The psalmist is not questioning the goodness of God in his life in spite of his difficulties. What he does ask is for his enemies to see the goodness of God in his life. If his enemies see him as a person valued by God and claimed by God’s grace, it may change how his enemies respond to him. His enemies may no longer see him as a problem that needs to be dealt with but as a human being with all of the complexities of life that his enemies share. He too has a family that loves him, depends upon him and gives him a sense of purpose. He too has friends that laugh with him, weep with him and encourage him. He too is prone to making bad choices but those mistakes should not be life altering.
God help my enemies see your favor and blessing in my life and be put to shame. The reason for their shame is because of how the enemies treated him and that shame may be the seed of change to where the enemies understand this is not right.
While the psalmist waits for God to act, he declares that the Lord has helped and comforted him. God has helped him by giving him the strength to stand in the face of enemies. God has comforted him when the enemies have won the battle of a given day. But God’s help and comfort assures the psalmist that it will not be this way always. A day will come when God will act decisively. It is his hope that day may come soon.
Published on Sunday, June 21, 2020 @ 2:21 PM EDT