Just read the Wikipedia article about Asaph, the author of these Psalms. It has a good pithy commentary on all the recent Psalms.
Today’s is a lament.
We start with a crane shot like the one showing the civil war in ‘Gone with the Wind’. The defiled temple, Jerusalem in rubble, dead bodies and blood exposed to the sky for animals to attack.
That what got me reading about Asaph. They said it may have referred to a number of temple musicians, not just a single person.
Unless this is a prophesy, he was there for the destruction of Jerusalem. I was surprised at the late date.
The Psalm appeals to God’s mercy and fairness.
It acknowledges God’s anger, which is an acknowledgement of human sin and the possibility of destruction at all times, held off by God mercy. If God is angry, he allows the inherently greedy powerful empires to attack.
It expresses their dire need for help. It reminds God of the shed blood and the groans of prisoners.
It appeals to God’s defence of his reputation. What will other nations think, there is no vergence? It calls down on the perpetrators 7 times what they have inflicted.
So it’s ok to tell God that life is not matching what was promised in the brochure.
The previous Psalms have had judgement and remembering the past blessings as themes. If this is the now, then it’s a bitter context.
It certainly makes my wistfulness at landing back into the literal and symbolic mess and complexity of home pretty minor. We had a really good holiday, I enjoyed the time with two of my kids (oldest, Lewes, stayed in Sydney… But he’s so complex, holidays don’t work with him).
I’ll move forward on the employment front, go back to work, and undertake a big task at church over the next month or so, moving the church offices. A big commitment of serious organisational input of the kind I often feel inadequate about, which needs to be done very well as part of our church’s long term to some very vulnerable people around where we live.
The challenges begin.
Let me stay connected and thoughtful about my children, let me listen and work with Kelly about what’s best for them and for us.
Let me appreciate how blessed I am, how without God’s ongoing love and mercy, so much could be gone and broken.
Let me shun evil.