Sunday 9th August 2020 Psalm 9
Come sing to God with all your heart;
give thanks to God Most High,
who makes the ruthless fall from power
and rescues those who cry.
For, Holy One, you take our part;
your ways are always just.
You stop the tyrants in their tracks
and turn their names to dust.
You are a shelter for the poor,
a stronghold in distress.
You care for all who trust in You
and all who are oppressed.
The violent move in vicious stealth
to dig their victims’ grave.
Come, snare them in the nets they cast.
Come, Mighty God, and save!
Rise up, O God; our blood cries out,
bring justice! Raise your hand!
Then we will tell how you have saved
Your praise will fill the land.
© Ruth Duck 2011 GIA Publications Ltd
You can hear the tune, Morning Song, here.
Captain Tom Moore has been quoted on his 100th birthday: ‘Together we will beat this enemy’. This man who inspired the world walking 100 laps around his garden has raised 30+ million pounds for NHS charities.
Where we shall be in our fight against the ‘enemy’ Covid-19 on 9th August, I have no idea. Will church buildings be open? What will be the impact of on-line worship? How many will have recovered? How many families will have lost lives to the enemy? The impact that the enemy will have on the recovery, restoration of communities, businesses and churches is still unknown.
Psalm 9, according to commentators, may have been written at a time when Israel had just been delivered from powerful enemies, such as the Egyptians, the Philistines, the Assyrians or the Babylonians. The super- powers have released Israel, justice has been done and love has eventually prevailed.
Robert Alter in his translation of the Hebrew says of verse 17: ‘The Lord is known for the justice (…) he did’.( It sounds a bit like Yoda speaking in a Star Wars film). The translation assumes an (…) ellipsis in the Hebrew. The literal sense of the four Hebrew words in sequence here is : ‘The Lord is known Justice(…) He Did’. Now I have been using three dots in the writing of emails for years ( some have questioned my Suffolk English). I never knew it was ‘a thing’ until I heard it discussed in an interview in lockdown. Don’t rush from ellipses!
Justice and love go together. They lead us to praise God. In times of despair we are even more ready to turn to prayer backed up by practical care and support: ‘For the needy shall not always be forgotten, and the hope of the poor shall not perish forever’ (verse 18). Today the needy will bear the biggest losses at the end of this.
Words of Assurance
from Captain Tom’s No 1 hit song with Michael Ball and the Care Choir
When you walk through a storm
Hold your head up high
And don’t be afraid of the dark
At the end of a storm
There’s a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of a lark
Walk on through the wind
Walk on through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown
Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone
You’ll never walk alone.
Oscar Hammerstein II / Richard Rodgers
You’ll Never Walk Alone lyrics © Concord Music Publishing LLC