Psalm 55:13-23 New International Version (NIV)
13 But it is you, a man like myself,
my companion, my close friend,
14 with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship
at the house of God,
as we walked about
among the worshipers.
15 Let death take my enemies by surprise;
let them go down alive to the realm of the dead,
for evil finds lodging among them.
16 As for me, I call to God,
and the Lord saves me.
17 Evening, morning and noon
I cry out in distress,
and he hears my voice.
18 He rescues me unharmed
from the battle waged against me,
even though many oppose me.
19 God, who is enthroned from of old,
who does not change—
he will hear them and humble them,
because they have no fear of God.
20 My companion attacks his friends;
he violates his covenant.
21 His talk is smooth as butter,
yet war is in his heart;
his words are more soothing than oil,
yet they are drawn swords.
22 Cast your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken.
23 But you, God, will bring down the wicked
into the pit of decay;
the bloodthirsty and deceitful
will not live out half their days.
But as for me, I trust in you.
Listen to Psalm 55 here: Psalm 55 audio
Have you ever looked at someone else and thought ‘I used to really like that person but now I’m really glad I’m not like them anymore’? That seems to be what’s going on in today’s reading.
Even though the outcome at the end of it all is fantastic and something that is an ideal aim for any of us in these pressing times – ‘But as for me, I trust in you’ – as I read these words today I want to sound a note of caution. It’s a note of caution that when we look back in a few years’ time might not seem rational or relevant but which I think is key now. We have been asked to live a certain way at this time for the good of one another. One another = both ourselves and everybody else. It’s perfectly easy to look about us and see people who are not living to the standards that we think they ought to at the best of times, but that is especially so now. Have any of us tutted as we’ve seen people walking past our houses less than 2 feet apart recently? That’s a bit like the psalmist and his companion. Both once worshipped together in the temple and expressed love for God and one another, but then the psalmist reckons that he kept to the rules he’d been given whilst his companion certainly did not.
This is all well and good except that right and good, or righteousness looks different in different people depending on who is looking. What I mean is this: I have quite a high awareness of my faults. You reading this might know about some of them but I’ll bet you don’t know all of them. I might look at you and think that you’re brilliant, but you might tell me that that’s only because I only see a certain side of you and if I really knew then I would lower my opinion.
I hope what I’m saying is making sense…Whether we puff ourselves up, do ourselves down, or do the same to other people, the Lord looks on he heart, the motivation we have, where we put our trust, as well as looking at our actions. Where is your heart today? What are you trusting? Don’t worry about what others are doing as much as you make sure that the log in your own eye is being attended to. Then when you say you trust God, when I say I trust God, it will have a better chance of actually being more fully true.
Something To Do
Think about whoever you live with or who you most regularly talk to. What is great about them? Make a list. If you’re feeling brave (!) tell the person what’s on it. It might surprise them!
Something To Pray
Pray that God would help you to see others the way He does and pray that He would increase your trust in Him today.