This God—his way is perfect; the promise of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all who take refuge in him. For who is God except the Lord?
Sometimes the Psalms drive me crazy. These two verses seem so peaceful and wonderful. They boldly proclaim the promise of God and the greatness of God. But this psalm (and others like it) shifts drastically. He zippers back and forth with his tone like a squirrel crossing the road in traffic. He shifts from a peaceful proclamation of praise to one that makes it sound like God’s power is meant to be used for his personal victory and gain. He talks about destroying his enemies and beating them fine, “like dust before the wind.” He follows, “Blessed be my rock,” with talk of vengeance and subduing people underneath him.
It sounds like the Psalmist has a personal agenda. It sounds like he has an axe to grind with his enemies and God is at his mercy to participate in obliterating anyone and anything that stands in his way.
To me, that doesn’t sound like a loving God. That doesn’t sound like a shield or a refuge. That sounds like a weapon of mass destruction.
Sometimes the Psalms drive me crazy.
Maybe they drive me crazy because they expose me like they do the psalmist. I’d much rather believe about myself that I live in perfect harmony with God. I’d much rather believe that my relationship with God is free from agenda or selfish motives.
But that isn’t true.
I often wonder, “What’s in this for me?” My personal agenda too often informs my actions more than my faith and trust in God. The psalms drive me crazy because they expose this in me. I see myself in the writer and it’s easier for me to judge him than it is to take a long hard look at myself. At least the psalmist is honest enough to admit these things without reservation. I’m more prone to keep them hidden and pretend everything is ok.
Help me, O God, to live as one with you and your creation in LOVE. No ulterior motives or agenda… just LOVE.