Wednesday of Pentecost 20 – Psalm 5

Give ear to my words, O Lord;
    consider my groaning.
Give attention to the sound of my cry,
    my King and my God,
    for to you do I pray.
O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice;
    in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.

For you are not a God who delights in wickedness;
    evil may not dwell with you.
The boastful shall not stand before your eyes;
    you hate all evildoers.
You destroy those who speak lies;
    the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love,
    will enter your house.
I will bow down toward your holy temple
    in the fear of you.
Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness
    because of my enemies;
    make your way straight before me.

For there is no truth in their mouth;
    their inmost self is destruction;
their throat is an open grave;
    they flatter with their tongue.
10 Make them bear their guilt, O God;
    let them fall by their own counsels;
because of the abundance of their transgressions cast them out,
    for they have rebelled against you.

11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
    let them ever sing for joy,
and spread your protection over them,
    that those who love your name may exult in you.
12 For you bless the righteous, O Lord;
    you cover him with favor as with a shield.

Jackie eventually had to get another job. She had started working for the state’s family protective services several years before with high ideals and the best of intentions, but finally she had to do something else. It is not uncommon. It is hard work, and it often involves being in the middle of situations which are heart wrenching and emotionally exhausting. Many find that they cannot make a whole career of dealing with broken people and their homes. The turnover rate in the offices of state family services offices is high. Say a prayer for those workers today.

One of the things which made it hard, she said, was that laws written with the best of intention often had unforeseen consequences. She concurred that children did best with their parents, and she wanted to keep families together, but sometimes that rule meant she handed children back to parents whose ability to be parents was marginal at best. She felt powerless before a reality which she could not change.

David asks God to give ear to his groaning. He knows that God is righteous and good, and cannot tolerate the wickedness of people. But David is apparently struggling with the wicked at this juncture in his life. There is no truth in their mouths and their inmost self is destruction. David feels helpless and needs God to solve this problem. So did Jackie. David confidently prays that the people who take refuge in God rejoice and sing for joy. Jesus has risen from the dead because his vulnerable and helpless children need his help. He dwells in you, and you may in fact, like Jackie, be part of His help right now. Yet, also know this: Just as David, the poet-king, needed God to solve some problems, so do we. Strive with all your strength but remember the responsibility for the outcomes lies with him.

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