Plea for Help in Evil Times
This psalm is a prayer in crisis. It is not a financial crisis or physical crisis. It is the crisis of integrity. The whole community is corrupt by deceit and lies. The psalmist deplores: “Help, O Lord, for there is no longer anyone who is godly; the faithful have disappeared from humankind. They utter lies to each other; with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.
Honest communication is gone. People just exchange superficial greetings. Powerful ones boast their power and the powerless ones survive through flattery. They all want to please the ears of the listeners. The psalmist wants to correct this reality but cannot. So he prays to God.
“May the Lord cut off all flattering lips, the tongue that makes great boasts, those who say, ‘With our tongues we will prevail; our lips are our own—who is our master?”
In this community, the powerless and poor just groan. They cannot even articulate their prayer. In this situation, however, the psalmist knew that their groaning was heard by God:
“Because the poor are despoiled, because the needy groan, I will now rise up,” says the Lord; I will place them in the safety for which they long.”
God’s promise is different from the empty words of the humans. Psalmist proclaims with confidence:
“The promises of the Lord are promises that are pure, silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times. You, O Lord, will protect us; you will guard us from this generation forever. On every side the wicked prowl, as vileness is exalted among humankind.”
In this spiritual crisis, the psalmist finds peace in mind because he knows that God would protect him from all the evils. Praise the LORD!