Jesus Creed

If memory has the capacity to heal us if we remember truthfully and remember in light of what God is doing in this world, then reminding God of our condition is a way both to discover who we are and what is going on. So, the psalmist, though he has already done this, reminds God of his condition:
Here are his words in 119:49-56: “my affliction” and “the arrogant have cruelly mocked me” and “the wicked who forsake Your teaching” and “wherever I may dwell” and then this to top it off: “this has been my lot.”
We believe God is omniscient; so did the psalmist. That does not stop the psalmist from rehearsing his sad and distressing condition. He’s in trouble; all around him folks hate him and oppose his commitment to Torah. He has told God this already. He tells God again.
Like the persistent widow of Luke 18 who “badgered God” for justice — that’s the image of the parable — so the psalmist reminds God of his condition and summons God to remember God’s very promises and glory are at stake.
I like the tenacity, the courage, and the utter honesty of this psalmist. Sometimes I wish he’d quit complaining, but I find the complaints express a heart intent on God’s best.
What do you think of the whininess of the prayers of the Psalms?

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