By Emily Hylden
A Reading from Psalm 82
1 God takes his stand in the council of heaven;
he gives judgment in the midst of the gods:
2 How long will you judge unjustly,
and show favor to the wicked?
3 Save the weak and the orphan;
defend the humble and needy;
4 Rescue the weak and the poor;
deliver them from the power of the wicked.
5 They do not know, neither do they understand;
they go about in darkness;
all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
6 Now I say to you, “You are gods,
and all of you children of the Most High;
7 Nevertheless, you shall die like mortals,
and fall like any prince.”
8 Arise, O God, and rule the earth,
for you shall take all nations for your own.
Does God really “show favor to the wicked”? Can God’s judgment be “unjust”? Of course not — but doesn’t it sometimes feel that way? The Book of Psalms, as the prayerbook of the Bible, gives voice to the unedited thoughts and questions of human hearts. From my vantage point, sometimes it does really feel like evil is winning, and that so much of my beloveds’ lives are unjust and unfair.
Julian of Norwich would tell us that we don’t have the whole picture (many, many theologians throughout history would agree, of course!), a fact supported by the amazing images released in the last few weeks by several telescopes. What a large, large world God has created. What a minute piece we have access to and vision for!
In such cases, then, we must trust God (another favorite theme of Julian’s!) that he has told us the truth about who he is: just, faithful, all-knowing, good, and never-changing. How difficult it can be to “lean not on our own understanding,” to admit that our vision is lacking, and then, to trust another’s “eyes” as more reliable than our own. Such is the call to surrender which we enjoy as humble creatures of a gracious, loving God.
The Rev. Emily R. Hylden resides with her priest husband and three sons in Lafayette, Louisiana. Find her podcasting at Emily Rose Meditations.
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Daily Devotional Cycle of Prayer
Today we pray for:
The Diocese of Mbaise – The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)
Church of the Transfiguration, Vail, Co.