This psalm has some beautiful and striking imagery, and is full of praise for the Lord. But whenever I see a reading like this, I’m curious. What’s the verse that was left out, and why was it omitted? Verse 35a states “Let sinners be consumed from the earth, and let the wicked be no more.” Pretty strong stuff.
Obviously, whoever wrote this psalm so long ago was not a Lutheran. We know now that we’re both saints and sinners all the time. Do we want to be wiped from the earth? Of course not. But isn’t it human nature to want those nasty evildoers to get what’s coming to them? In the Old Testament, God can sometimes seem harsh and unforgiving. Now we’re blessed to know Jesus, who was there from the very start, filled with love and compassion for us.
We need to remember our sinful side, but not rub our faces in it. Asking for forgiveness wipes our slates clean. Even if we have to keep on doing that, the grace and mercy of our Lord is worth all the exuberant praise we can give. It’s good to be reminded of that many times over.
Merciful God, remind us of your love and forgiveness, as often as we need it. Amen. — AMG