There’s Only One Way to Avoid Becoming What We Hate

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March 4, 2021

Psalm 64

To the tune of “Immortal, Invisible” 11.11.11.11 Sing it at seedbed.com/soundtrack

1 O hear me, my God, as I cry unto You,
Protect me from threats which the wicked will do.
2 O hide me when enemies seek to do wrong,
And shelter me safe from the plots of the strong.

3 For they do all kinds of insidious things,
They sharpen their tongues to unleash deadly stings.
4 They shoot from an ambush the innocent one,
They shoot at him quickly, and fear have they none.

5 They bolster each other in their evil plans,
They hide snares and say, “Who will know our commands?”

6 They plot great injustice; say, “We won’t be found.”
The cunning of man’s heart and mind knows no bound.

7 But God will shoot arrows at their hidden place,
And they will be struck down, and found in disgrace.

8 Their own tongues will witness and make them forlorn,
And all those who see them regard them with scorn.

9 All people will fear and together proclaim
the works God has done, and they’ll ponder His name.
10 Let all of the righteous rejoice in the Lord,
Take refuge in Him, and to Him praise accord!

Something in me desperately wants to believe that people have gotten better over the centuries, that the human condition has somehow evolved or improved. If I am honest with myself, I must come to grips with the fact that as we were in the beginning, so are we now. Sin has grown only in its sophistication. Human beings are capable of unfettered wickedness and unimaginable cruelty. The murderous hatred of Cain. The deceptive cunning of Jacob. The vengeful wickedness of the brothers of Joseph. The duplicitous nature of King David. And then there’s Judas Iscariot. These bloodlines run deep in the human race.

Song 64 is a psalm of lament. In an age of positive thinking, laments can be unwelcome expressions of pessimism and dismissed as whining. To qualify as a lament, it must be framed in the larger context of hope. A lament is human sadness and longing lifted to God. Absent the presence of God and ultimate hope, we cannot lament; we can only despair. In the face of unresolved injustice, we lament before God. In the presence of unremitting enemy fire, we lament before God.

There’s a hidden warning within the practice of lament. Singing lament is ultimately a protection from becoming infected with the situation we are lamenting. If we somehow skip God in the equation, taking it straight to the enemy, we will unwittingly and unknowingly become like our enemy. In this fashion, lament is not only protection from our enemy; it is salvation from becoming like our enemy.

Have the injustices you’ve endured and the enemies you have faced infected you with their hate-venom? As noted, the bloodline of Adam is inherently susceptible to this poison. In other words, we are all bearers of this blood type. The gospel is that God has introduced a new bloodline into the human race: the blood of his Son. It is the perfect and only antidote.

This forty-day study is leading us to the only place we can receive this lifeblood transfusion: the cross. Let us remember where the journey ends. In the face of his cruel tormenters (including us) Jesus took his words straight to the courts of heaven: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).

Do you realize that Jesus was singing a lament song from the cross? To follow him means singing along.

Ask Yourself. Share with Another.

Can you identify particular people in your life with whom you are very angry, even rising to the level of hate? Do you realize the toll this is taking on you? Are you ready to take a new approach? Would you consider taking it straight to God, in its raw, unadulterated form? He can handle it.

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt
Sower-in-Chief
seedbed.com

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Farmer. Poet. Theologian. Jurist. Publisher. Seedbed's Sower-in-Chief.

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