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Tuesday, July 03, 2018

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Woo-ee!, This is a dangerous little psalm to be included in the Bible! "We have had more than enough of contempt...our soul has had more than its fill." It sounds like such a simple, profound, true statement to embrace--and yet. In my life, when I am praying words with a similar thought, it typically turns out that I am truly the one who is contempt-filled, scornful, at ease. That's the danger of this psalm: the immediate finger-pointing it seems to encourage.

On the other hand, there are certainly those who are truly oppressed, suffering, beaten down. I would invite all of us to take a good, hard look at ourselves, perhaps, as the psalm invites, through the eyes of our mistress and master the LORD our God: where in our lives are we truly those who cry out for mercy? And where are we the ones who scorn as we take our ease?

Oy! God. I hate seeing myself as the one who is scornful, contemptible, proud. Deal me lovingly a truthful hand in this matter, and give me the heart to fix my ways. But give me clear eyes also to see the injustices that I experience, and give me mercy in those as well. Amen.

Rachel Wrenn, '11
PhD student in Hebrew Bible at Emory University, Marietta, GA

Psalm 123 (NRSV)

1 A Song of Ascents. To thee I lift up my eyes, O thou who art enthroned in the heavens!
2 Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he have mercy upon us.
3 Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us, for we have had more than enough of contempt.
4 Too long our soul has been sated with the scorn of those who are at ease, the contempt of the proud.

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.