Saturday, November 8, 2014

Psalms about the Wicked

I've been reading Psalm 10 lately, which is one of those psalms that speak of the wicked and how they seem to prosper, and ask God why, and asks him to hurry to the rescue of the weak and the innocent, whom the wicked, the oppressor, is always taking advantage of.

This theme is a pretty consistent one in the Psalms. This wicked oppressor is often associated with power, with nations, while the ordinary people, his victims, are the weak, the innocent, the helpless. The deck seems to be stacked against them. These wicked one are what nowadays might be called "power elites." The humble of the earth, the meek, these are their victims.

So power and violence are associated with these wicked ones, these oppressors. "The nations" are with them. The nations are not generally spoken highly of in the psalms, for they are closely associated with oppression. They are disturbers of God's peace, and they have been disturbing it ever since the Fall, I'd say.

Anyway, thinking about this theme, I decided to cobble together my own psalm, drawing mostly on Psalm 10 but trying to use my own words. I guess I'd call it a kind of prose poem. Here iti s:
There you are, Oppressor, riding your high horse. Liar, cheat, schemer, for you even murder is no big deal.Your visage is bloated with pride, your hand never trembles. Servants come running at just a nod, for your dirty work is never done. Your arrogance is boundless, your mind a sink-hole of iniquity.

Wicked one, you think you'll never come tumbling down. You'll never be beaten. You trod down the little ones, you leave moaning and grief in your wake.Your heart is a rock. You scoff at God, crack jokes about justice, and consider love and mercy a daydream for weaklings and losers. You really think you're something, but you're nothing.

Deceiver, layer of traps for the innocent, empire-builder, advantage-taker, jack-of-all-evils, terror-maker, back-stabber, every night you lay down scheming and in the morning you rise up eager for theft. The helpless are your target, the weak are your bread and butter, the poor you trample in the mud. Peace-hater, the nations have always been putty in your hands, and their war-making is for your pleasure. The banner over you is greed, and all you do is take take take.

Watch out, fool, for the Lord's anger burns against you. Even the nations tremble. Your strutting days are numbered, you laughter will soon turn to dust in your throat. Your weapons will be shattered, your strength will waste away in the blink of an eye, your boasting will ring hollow, your servants will run from you and you will find yourself utterly alone and helpless. You will beg for mercy, but mercy will not be given. Your name will never again be spoken, and even the fear of you will be forgotten.

The Lord reigns, rest assured, the Lord reigns. The afflicted, the oppressed, the poor, the bereaved, their cries are heard, their justice is coming, their Deliverer is mighty to save, and he is not far off.  

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