Today's psalm is a prayer of petition or lament made by a person living among foreigners who finds himself the recipient of lies and deceit of his neighbors with whom he simply wants to live in peace. What does this have to do with us today? First, read the words of the psalm:
I my distress I cry to the Lord, that he may answer me: "Deliver me, O Lord, from lying lips, from a deceitful tongue." What shall be given to you? And what more shall be done to you, you deceitful tongue? .. Woe is me, that I am an alien [in this land], that I must live among [these people]. Too long have I had my dwelling among those who hate peace. I am for peace; but when I speak they are for war. (Ps. 120)
Ever feel like all the voices around you are either telling lies or speaking for war (or both)? We have a lot of voices speaking AT us these days - telling us how we should think, who to vote for (or not to vote for), how to live, and, most presumptuously, how Jesus would react in a given situation. It seems to me that there is a desire to simply "stir the pot" or provoke people to anger. Why? No minds are going to be changed through a "zinger" on social media; it simply provokes. This psalm reminds us that even though other words around us may speak lies or speak against peace, our words should be different. We may disagree, and we can speak our disagreement, but our words should always reflect the love of God. Thoughts?
Prayer: God, we sometimes feel like we live as foreigners in this land. We are called to love you and love others, and if we look around us too often we see far too little love and far too much hate. Help us to speak truth and to speak it in a way that shows your love for all people. Help us to speak words of peace instead of words of division and hate. Amen.