Scripture Reading: Psalm 121
I lift up my eyes to the hills—
from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time on and for evermore. –Psalm 121:1-2, 7-8
There is that word again, evil. Yesterday we discussed God bringing down evil on people by cursing them. Today we find the Lord keeping us from evil. The Hebrew word translated here as evil* at its root deals with adversity. Humans have an interesting relationship with evil. I find myself in adversity trying to accomplish justice all the time. It is always a challenge to walk the fine line between standing for what one believes to be right while not being drawn into behavior that is not of God.
Thus, I find it comforting that the Psalmist ties lifting one’s eyes to the hills, turning to the Lord in times of trouble when dealing with adversity. I lived in Denver for two years and awoke each morning with the ability to turn my eyes to the west and gaze not only on the foothills but the mighty mountains in the background. It does give one perspective. I get the same sense of the presence of God watching an Oklahoma sunset. Using the beauty of God’s earth as a vehicle to see the world from God’s panoramic viewpoint, helps us to mesh our priorities with God’s. It enables us to discern a path forward toward justice while loving our perceived adversaries as children of God made in God’s image too.
I have found it helpful when seeking to do justice to search for the things on which all or most can agree and lighten up if possible on the things that tear us apart ending any conversation.
Prayer: Thank you Lord, for the beauty of the sunset as it stretches endlessly across the sky much like your love embraces all your children. Let that image guide us as we seek to be champions of justice. Amen.