Once again I am saying how much I love the book of Psalms.
“There is no faithful prayer in Israel’s official book of worship, the Psalter, that trivializes evil, no genuine faith that ignores the destructive powers of sin, and no true witness that turns a blind eye to the violence of our world. It is for this reason that we turn to the psalms for guidance in times such as these, for they show us what we can—and indeed should—be praying in a violent world.” –David O. Taylor https://www.wdavidotaylor.com/blog/prayers-for-a-violent-world
Our world is full of unspeakable evil. And “everyone” (it sure feels like it) is speaking about it all of the time in every voice so this unspeakable evil keeps being heard and thusly permeates deep into our very being. Our souls are disturbed.
We need the Psalms even more.
It is in the reading of the Psalms (again) I discovered a new name for God. It is one that I’ve not heard of before. Psalms are full of names for God such as my Rock, my Protector, Good Shepherd. This name is not as comfy. I’ve yet to hear this name in a worship song.
Psalm 94:1 says O Lord, the God of vengeance, O God of vengeance, let your glorious justice shine forth!
This does not sound like a loving adoring name for God.
It is the God my soul needs now. In this world of injustice that disturbs my soul.
God is the one who avenges the unjust. This is all over the Bible. God does unleash vengeance out of love for me. Out of love for you. This is because of love.
More Psalms that I need right now:
Psalm 37:28 – For the Lord loves justice, and he will never abandon the godly.
Psalm 103:6 – The Lord gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly.
One more Psalm 27:14 I’m hanging on to right now. Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.
This is my soul cry–as I wait. I wait for this God of Vengeance because I trust in this Larger Story God.
I did ask John to write a worship song using that name. It was a challenge. He loves writing songs out of the Psalms. He’s pretty particular about theological accuracy in his music.
As for what kind of song I asked our son Kenneth. Should it be a slow or fast song? What kind of guitar riffs? I asked Kenneth for his wisdom because he’s serving time in prison which is an unjust place. Prison is a place where you are dehumanized. He is very dependent on this God of Vengeance to help him persevere. His suggestion was it should be mellow but hard. Kind of like “My Own Prison” by Creed.
This took John less than a week to write. He’s not one to turn down a challenge, especially from me. Here is John’s song performed by Larger Story Worship, which is the worship band for my church. It’s some Creed mixed with some Jethro Tull flute. This song fits in nicely with our worship sets—especially lately.
I will wait patiently for the God of Vengeance who promises to make all things right.
Meanwhile, the brave pray as we personally make the brave decisions to change.
May we start making the brave decisions
Here is a written prayer for when you are overwhelmed by too much information.
The quote from David O. Taylor, which opened this article, links to a list of prayers to pray when you need the God of Vengeance.
And don’t you need a good kicking worship song right now?
This is the stuff that helps us to wait. Come, God of Vengeance.