Reading the Word
O LORD—how long?
Reflecting on the Word
‘Psalm 40’ is interesting in that it suggests a time in which grace will replace karma, and love replace the very strict laws of Moses (i. e. fulfill them). I love that thought. David, who committed some fo the most selfish as well as selfless acts, was depending on it. That the scriptures are brim full of hustlers, murderers, cowards, adulterers and mercenaries used to shock me; now it is a source of great comfort.‘40’ became the closing song at U2 shows and on hundreds of occasions, literally hundreds of thousands of people of every size and shape t-shirt have shouted back the refrain, pinched from ‘Psalm 6’: “How long’ (to sing this song).” I had thought of it as a nagging question—pulling at the hem of an invisible deity whose presence we glimpse only when we act in love. How long . . . hunger? How long . . . hatred? How long until creation grows up and the chaos of its precocious, hell-bent adolescence has been discarded? I thought it odd that the vocalising of such questions could bring such comfort; to me too.
Lead singer for the rock group, U2
Responding to the Word
Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me;
Make haste, O LORD, to help me.
Let those be ashamed and humiliated together
Who seek my life to destroy it;
Let those be turned back and dishonored
Who delight in my hurt.
Let those be appalled because of their shame
Who say to me, “Aha, aha!”
Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
Let those who love Your salvation say continually, Oh LORD
Since I am afflicted and needy,
Let the Lord be mindful of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
Do not delay, O my God.