Sunday 26th July 2020 Psalm 7
Plaintive is the song I sing
Woeful the lament I bring
All my anguish I lay bare
God my Saviour hear my prayer
My pursuers take delight
In their malice and their spite
They accuse me without cause
Held as in a lion’s claws
Try me put me to the test
If I ever have oppressed
Those who taunt me and deride
Then they might be justified
Seated on Your lofty throne
Summon all the lands each one
Hold high court lay motives bare
Give just judgment firm but fair
Leading to a different way
Where revenge no more holds sway
And where Christ will set us free
Free to build community
Norman J Goreham © 2010 Faith Alive Christian Resources CCLI Number 1064776
You can hear the tune for this Psalm here
In stanza 1, a complaint is made to God. A lament is not mere whinging or a slight upset, but rather a gut wrenching cry of anguish because no remedy can be seen. Stanza 2 tells us that false accusations are being made against the person. Like lion’s claws, these false accusations threaten the person. Stanza 3 is a plea to God to check the person’s heart for any sense that they may have somehow caused these false accusations or given their accusers cause to accuse them. Stanza 4 asks God to make a “firm but fair” judgement in the matter. Stanza 5 is a call to stop the culture of revenge and a plea for a new way forward that would be better for everyone in the community, where Christ Jesus “sets us free.”
False accusations are a vicious form of gossip. Gossip is a community killer – see James 3:5-10 and the Apostle Paul’s ‘what not to do’ lists. Gossip is like a drug that at first makes us feel good with that ‘high’ of knowing something about someone else, but the effect soon wears off. We need more and more. The old news doesn’t quite have the same edge as new news. Gotta get me some of that new news…
Gossip hurts people. The person gossiping is stuck in the lion’s claws just as much as the person being talked about. Stopping gossip requires a complete shift in the community’s thinking. It requires a desire to seek the real truth and to care about each other enough to know what the truth actually is. It requires justice. Can we make Jesus – aka “The Truth”- the heart of our communications?
If you have a gossip problem, you are not alone, but get help before gossip wrecks you and your community.
God of justice and truth
we have a gossip problem.
Teach us to use words that give life and not kill (Proverbs 18:21).
Change how we speak to and of each other.