Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Bad Company

Our contemplation of Psalm 139 continues with verses 19-20:

O that You would kill the wicked, O God, and that the bloodthirsty would depart from me—those who speak of You maliciously, and lift themselves up against You for evil!

The psalmist takes a radical—truly unsettling—turn as he begins his poem’s closing stanza. After extolling God’s infinite wisdom and the specificity of his own making, the poet looks around and sees people who honor neither God nor their making. He wishes they would go away and leave him to worship and serve his God without interference. But that’s not going to happen. Despite their waywardness, they too are fearfully, wonderfully made. God also has a plan for them. God’s beauty also resides in them. So the psalmist must learn to detach himself from the bad company that surrounds him. He confides his grief to God. He puts his adversaries in God’s hands, releasing them and the anxieties they cause to God’s care.

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