Deliver me, O Lord, from evildoers; protect me from those who are violent,
who plan evil things in their minds and stir up wars continually.
They make their tongue sharp as a snake’s, and under their lips is the venom of vipers. Selah
Guard me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked; protect me from the violent who have planned my downfall.
The arrogant have hidden a trap for me, and with cords they have spread a net, along the road they have set snares for me. Selah
I say to the Lord, “You are my God; give ear, O Lord, to the voice of my supplications.”
O Lord, my Lord, my strong deliverer, you have covered my head in the day of battle.
Do not grant, O Lord, the desires of the wicked; do not further their evil plot. Selah
Those who surround me lift up their heads; let the mischief of their lips overwhelm them!
Let burning coals fall on them! Let them be flung into pits, no more to rise!
Do not let the slanderer be established in the land; let evil speedily hunt down the violent!
I know that the Lord maintains the cause of the needy, and executes justice for the poor.
Surely the righteous shall give thanks to your name; the upright shall live in your presence.
Deliver me…guard me…Do not grant, O Lord, the desires of the wicked; do not further their evil plot…I know that the Lord maintains the cause of the needy and executes justice for the poor.
We toured Savannah, Georgia this morning and it was a fascinating walk back into history. Was truly a wonderful experience. One of the consistent parts of the tour were the many historic churches that make up much of the history of Savannah. I was struck by the stories that went along with this congregation – First African Baptist Church. It is one of the oldest black Baptist congregations in America and has a key historical role in the underground railroad as well as the Civil War. There are air holes in the floor of the sanctuary that were for areas under the floorboards for escaped slaves.
Yes, God does all that is spoken of in this Psalm – deliverance, guarding, and maintaining the cause of the needy and those needing justice. While God does that work, we are ones who have a role in bringing it about. God works through us to make these things happen. God used this congregation and many many others throughout history and God continues that call today – we take the legacy of those who laid this path for us and need to live it out today. For the needy are still with us, the poor and the oppressed remain in need…and the church continues to need to live out the call.