We read Psalm 53-55 today.
Morning. Psalm 53. “Play it again, Sam.” Does this psalm sound familiar? If so, it is because we’ve read virtually the same words before in the community lament that is we know as Psalm 14. The only truly significant difference between the two is Ps. 53.5 and Ps. 14.5-6.
Mid-day. Psalm 54. This psalm is so much like so very many of our prayers. First we ask God to help us (“Save me, O God” – vs. 1-3) and then we remind ourselves of what we believe about God and what we’ll do when we get up from prayer (“Surely God is my help … I will …” – vs. 4-7). And so, it is helpful, and instructive, to read this psalm in that very way, in three movements (note ‘Selah,’ the pause, at the end of vs. 3). First, read this individual’s grief-laden cry for help and make it your own (vs. 1-3). Second, pause for awhile as you put yourself in that person’s place and consider it all. Third, read the individual’s continued prayer and their matters of personal resolve (vs. 4-7).
Tonight. Psalm 55. There is no pain in life quite like the suffering that ensues from being betrayed by one of those closest to you. Have you ever been betrayed by a best friend? Then this psalm of individual lament is for you.