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Posts Tagged ‘2 Corinthians 10:3’


Psalm 26Prayer of Innocence

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Artemisia Gentilesche: Susana

Yesterday I was speaking with a friend about how Psalm 73 always pops up when I am troubled about how to live in the world and not be of it.  As Paul tells the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 10:3): For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. In Psalm 73, The Trial of the Just, the psalmist expresses what happens to our thinking when we come close to losing faith that God is goodness and mercy and justice.  In today’s Noontime reading we find a kind of companion psalm, a prayer of innocence, a statement of faith and an affirmation of our covenant promise with God.

Just a few days ago we examined the first book of Esther in which the story of Mordecai begins to unfold.  He is wrongly accused and knows that he must rely on God and no other for salvation.  Like Job in his conversations with his three friends Bildad, Eliphaz and Elihu, he knows that only in a conversation with God will he find the answers he seeks.  And like Susana in the Book of Daniel he also knows that always our help arrives in God’s time and way rather than our own.

When we find ourselves in a quagmire not of our making, we might pray this psalm . . . I have walked without blame.  In the Lord I have trusted.

When we find ourselves in a nest of confusing lies and deceptions, we might pray this psalm . . . I do not sit with deceivers, nor with hypocrites do I mingle.

When we find ourselves embroiled in a plot we did not devise, we might pray this psalm . . . I hate the company of evildoers; with the wicked I do not sit.

And when we find ourselves rescued by God – as we always are – we might pray this psalm . . . My foot stands on level ground; in assemblies I will bless the Lord.

Once someone said to me that Psalm 26 cannot rightly be prayed by anyone except Christ since none of us is as perfect as the person who speaks here.  I replied that God does not expect perfection in our actions, only persistence in our attempt to be loving and just; that Christ is a tender brother who models how we might live yet forgives all our faults; that the Holy Spirit abides in each of us urging us to keep ever close to God.  When we listen to the words Christ speaks to us as God manifested among us, we know that forgiveness and openness to renewal are important in our development.  We know that the perfection God asks is our persistence in following Christ through any and all obstacles in our lives.  We know that the first step we must take toward God is a genuine repentance for any way we have offended God.  We know that God is eager to forgive our transgressions.  And we know that we are given infinite opportunities to amend and renew ourselves.

So today we take up this psalm to examine it and ourselves.  Are there times when we are not completely innocent of wrongdoing?  Yes, often.  Are there times when we have been wrongly accused and maligned.  Yes, and these times may be numerous.  Does God always forgive, is God always present, and does God consistently welcome us home when we have given offense?  Yes, and yes, and yes.  Today, if we find ourselves wanting, we have the opportunity to turn back to our journey of persistence, for in this we find perfection. And also today, if we discover that we have been unjustly accused, we have the opportunity to petition God with all the other innocents who suffer at the hands of those who disdain patience and kindness and justice.

Too often the innocent messenger is blamed for the harsh but true and necessary message.  We may have been the receiver of such a communication and behaved badly . . . and we may also have been the deliverer and suffered through no cause of our own.  In either case, let us together begin our singing . . . My foot stands on level ground; in assemblies I will bless the Lord. 


A re-post from October 30, 2011.

Visit The Race of the Just post at: https://thenoontimes.com/2018/11/21/the-race-of-the-just/ 

Image from: http://abbey-roads.blogspot.com/2011/04/susanna-falsely-accused.html 

To read more about innocents who suffer follow the painting hyperlink on today’s post or visit:

http://abbey-roads.blogspot.com/2011/04/susanna-falsely-accused.html

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