Saturday, February 27, 2010

Psalm 27

I have been working on the sermon for tomorrow with a focus on the 27th Psalm, written by King David. The words have become more and more like Poetry and so I want to share them with any an all who are reading this.

1The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
2When evildoers assail me to devour my flesh—

my adversaries and foes—
they shall stumble and fall.
3Though an army encamp against me,

my heart shall not fear;
though war rise up against me,
yet I will be confident.
4One thing I asked of the Lord,

that will I seek after:
to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.
5For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble;

he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will set me high on a rock.
6Now my head is lifted up above my enemies all around me,

and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord.
7Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud, be gracious to me and answer me!
8“Come,” my heart says, “seek his face!”

Your face, Lord, do I seek.
9Do not hide your face from me.

Do not turn your servant away in anger, you who have been my help. Do not cast me off, do not forsake me, O God of my salvation!
10If my father and mother forsake me,

the Lord will take me up.
11Teach me your way, O Lord,

and lead me on a level path because of my enemies.
12Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries,

for false witnesses have risen against me,
and they are breathing out violence.
13I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord

in the land of the living.
14Wait for the Lord;

be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
(Oremus Bible - NRSV)

I then came across this work by Cheryl Ann Toliver in response to the Psalm. I found it to be truthful and direct. Enjoy...

Psalm 27
by Cheryl Ann Toliver

The world's gone mad!
Our God-given reason is overthrown By our animal craving for blood.
My own desperate prayer for reason Is stifled by overwhelming fear.
I see only the destruction our madness will bring in its wake - misery, poverty, hatred, despair, evil, chaos - As the 21st century's first decade disintegrates into insane war.
All that is good - morality, kindness, mercy, patience, compassion, self-control, forgiveness, wisdom - seems lost, forsaken.
We reject the Spirit's power to act in our lives,
Exposing humanity's ugly wretchedness without God's grace, And thus, we have damned ourselves.
How have we come to this hell?
When did we set out on this "inevitable" path?
Why can we find no other way? What has blinded us to your grace, O! Holy God?
Where, O! Lord, is your salvation from this mad darkness? Who but Thee can save us from ourselves?
I hear you cry out to us, Lord - "Don't be molded by the world, be metamorphosized!
Let your reasoning be completely, utterly new,
So you can comprehend what is good through my eyes.
Then you'll understand that you need to bless those you hate,
Instead of inciting more evil and anger and hatred
By seeking to repay the evil done against you with more evil.
You can only overcome evil with good.
Goodness is the only weapon that can destroy evil. It's the only cure for your insanity and unending cycles of hatred and vengeance."
So few hear you, Lord God. Yet, in my despair, I hear your words of comfort - "I am your hope, your salvation, your fortress. Why are you afraid?
Evil may assail you, lay siege and make war against you,
But it will fail. I am your shelter from trouble on the high ground.
You will one day walk before your enemies without fear or shame."
So, Almighty God, Holy Lord,
In the midst of the world's madness, whatever terror is to come,
You are with me. You say, "seek me", and I do seek Thee. I will seek your grace amid our human wretchedness and evil
And I will yet live to see your good triumph.
Now help me to wait for you, Lord God.
Help me to be strong, to not be afraid, in the overwhelming madness,
So I may endure the coming metamorphosis.

Cheryl Ann Toliver grew up in rural Idaho and small-town Colorado, had her first experience of encountering Jesus as a child of 7, and has been writing poetry since she was 11 years old. She has been in California for the last 19 years, working as an editor of a legal index database. Copies of her poetry book Visions, are available for no charge or a small donation. Contacting her at:

No comments: