I really do love the Psalms. They express such raw emotions and deep, contemplative thought from people who struggled to serve God, understand God, and to love God.

And so often the emotions are angry, sad and confused:
  • (Psalm 40:17 NRSV) As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God.
  • (Psalm 109:22-23 NRSV) For I am poor and needy, and my heart is pierced within me.  I am gone like a shadow at evening; I am shaken off like a locust.
Sometimes the emotions are hopeful:
  • (Psalm 9:18 NLT) For the needy will not be forgotten forever; the hopes of the poor will not always be crushed.
  • (Psalm 22:26 NRSV) The poor shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the LORD. May your hearts live forever!
  • (Psalm 74:21 NRSV) Do not let the downtrodden be put to shame; let the poor and needy praise your name.
And, at least once in awhile, the emotions are happy.
  • (Psalm 63:5 NRSV) My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast, and my mouth praises you with joyful lips.
  • (Psalm 96:11-12 NRSV) Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; {12} let the field exult, and everything in it. Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy.
  • (Psalm 122:1 NRSV) I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go to the house of the LORD!"
And so often, the psalms have a disturbing vitriolic edge (The word is fun to say, but it’s not the kind of description that’s desirable.)
  • (Psalm 55:15 NRSV)  Let death come upon them; let them go down alive to Sheol; for evil is in their homes and in their hearts.
  •  (Psalm 74:10-11 NRSV)  How long, O God, is the foe to scoff? Is the enemy to revile your name forever? Why do you hold back your hand; why do you keep your hand in your bosom?
And right from this week’s Psalm:
  • (Psalm 145:20 NRSV)  The LORD watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.
Praise and adoration. Good feelings – and then that “destroys the wicked” stuff. 

The psalmists wrote with real, raw emotions – poured out poetically. The psalms reflect the mood swings of a people trying to “get it.”

But why is it necessary to seek  the destruction of our enemies? 

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