Scripture Reading: Psalm 104:24-35b
May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
may the Lord rejoice in his works—
who looks on the earth and it trembles,
who touches the mountains and they smoke.
I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
May my meditation be pleasing to him,
for I rejoice in the Lord.
Let sinners be consumed from the earth,
and let the wicked be no more.
Bless the Lord, O my soul.
Praise the Lord! –Psalm 104:24-35
It struck me as I read our scripture for today that if we apply Paul’s view of sin, this Psalm is praying for eradicating all peoples on the earth: since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:23) where sin is defined as missing the mark or making a mistake perhaps impacting others. * The Hebrew word translated in this Psalm as sinner refers to one who offends. ** I assume that may mean primarily God, but it could imply that when we offend others we offend God also. I am probably out of my league here not being either a scholar in Hebrew or Greek.
In any case, this is not a prayer one should pray lightly. I must admit though that I do like the visceral nature of the prayers in the Psalms. They were written by real people who had real struggles in life with one another and with God. We must all deal with the outcomes of every one of our missing the mark, making a mistake.
The Hebrew people understood the need for forgiveness. They routinely presenting offerings to be sacrificed at the tabernacle in the wilderness and later at the temples. We who call ourselves Christian value highly the role of forgiveness in the life of Jesus and the subsequent journey he set forth for us. It is in fact because we all miss the mark and make mistakes that we are called to love one another and be redeemed together as we fulfill God’s call.
Prayer: Lord forgive us when we individually and collectively miss the mark and strengthen our ability to be your body in this world today through such redemptive love. Amen.
*Strong’s Concordance http://biblehub.com/greek/264.htm
**Strong’s Concordance http://biblehub.com/hebrew/2400.htm
All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights reserved.