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Psalm 71:14a But I shall always wait in patience.
I wasn’t reacting to those hateful passages about destroying our enemies, smashing the teeth out of their mouths, and bashing their babies’ heads against the rocks. What had set me off was some of the goody-goody, morally pristine verses. You know the ones I mean. Oh, I love doing your law all the time. I’m always patient. I wanted the psalms to get real: “I could use a little help here! What’s keeping you?”
On this day, the psalms’ pretense to moral perfection and undisturbed serenity struck me as particularly phony and condescending.
My friend listened until I had sufficiently unwound. Then she said, “You know, I read passages like that as aspirations. We yearn to be wise, to be compassionate, to be patient, to be joined to Jesus at the hip all the time. The psalms tell us that it’s okay to have such desires. In eternity we’ll get there, with God’s grace.”
MOVING FORWARD: If you were writing a song or psalm to God today, what would it say?