Sixth Sunday of Easter: The Psalm Passage – Praising in a broken world {Preacher/Seekers and I both speak}

Preacher: “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us,”
Seekers: “Selah”

Preacher: “ . . . that your way may be known upon earth, your saving power among all nations.
Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.

Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth.
Seekers: “Selah”

Preacher: “Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.
The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, has blessed us. May God continue to bless us; let all the ends of the earth revere him.” (Psalm 67)
Seekers: Selah!

Since first starting to write this blog, I have seen come to the United States and to the world. I first started contributing to this blog back in 2007. It is coming nigh close to 10 years. I don’t remember if then the world seemed as fragmented and chaotic as it does now. I do not remember if violence and natural devastation was to the level it is now. The news media and social media do an ever increasingly good job of keeping us apprised and informed of world happenings. I am not even sure it is good to know about such things as soon as they happen; if one’s stance is to pray as soon as bad news is heard and rejoice when good news comes, then knowing is good. But if one would pray for humanity regardless of the most current happening, and rejoice that there is still good in the world, then you would not have to know the particulars.

It cannot be said with real accuracy and authenticity that “God is in control” because that does a disservice to the Divine. Humanity is in control of its self, and God is begging us to follow the principles and guidelines that the Lord has set down. Nature is under no one’s control but is spinning off wildly because of what humanity and time have done to it. So if there tragedies to mourn and pray for, it is because humanity has not let God be in control of their actions. And if there are natural devastation, it because nature is running just as amok as selfish human will.

But there is reason to praise. Preacher speaks it and Seekers affirm it. God is gracious to us, when we allow God’s grace to move and work through us. God has set down a template for humanity, if we would but follow it. God judges us, but has established a means for mercy and forgiveness to mediate that judgment. There are stories of God’s blessing and if we listen, we will hear those stories. So let us praise God where praise can be lifted up, and appeal to God when we find ourselves mired in the problems of the world. Selah!

Fifth Sunday of Easter: The Psalm Passage – Preacher and Seeker praise!

Preacher: “Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights!
Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his host!”

Seeker 2: Praise the Lord? Ha! With all that is going on in the world?! Turmoil and disaster, sickness and death, rack and ruin! I tell ya’, any one who can find something to praise doesn’t have eyes to see with!

Preacher: “Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars!
Praise him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens!”

Seeker 2: Well, yeah, if you are not talking about the people that are suffering. Sure, nature can praise God. But even nature is suffering come to think of it. I can see that. Pollution choking out life, and animals suffering because they don’t have clean places to live that haven’t been messed up by humanity. But the sun and the moon are not affected. And the stars still twinkle. The sky is there, but you can’t trust the water that comes from it!

Preacher: “Let them praise the name of the Lord, for he commanded and they were created.
He established them forever and ever; he fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed.”

Seeker 2: So, the Lord is watching out for all of this? Really? Taking care of it? And in response to all the trouble they are in, they are supposed to praise the Lord?

Preacher: “Praise the Lord from the earth, you sea monsters and all deeps, fire and hail, snow and frost, stormy wind fulfilling his command!
Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars! Wild animals and all cattle, creeping things and flying birds!”
Seeker 2: Preacher, are not hearing me? Nature and humanity are in an awful mess, and you want them to join together as if everything is peachy keen, and praise the Lord?!

Preacher: Seeker, I hear you. And I know you are speaking the truth. The world, nature, and all of humanity are breaking down and suffering. If there is any praise, it is praise from a position of brokenness and want; trouble and turmoil, aggression, war and death. But Seeker, the Lord has not brought about this brokenness. Nature is imperfect, and humanity even more so. All of it is broken and in need of healing. But the Lord stands with us in our brokenness, and loves us in our brokenness. The Lord does not condemn us because humanity has trashed nature and seems bound & determined to ruin all themselves in the process of fulfilling their own will instead of following the Lord’s precepts. We praise the Lord not because of the way things are, but because in the Lord’s love there is hope that someday this brokenness will be mended. And there are people who seek to do this Divine work of mending now!
Seeker 2: “Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth! Young men and women alike, old and young together!
Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his glory is above earth and heaven.
He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his faithful, for the people of Israel who are close to him.
Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 148)

Preacher: Amen! Selah!

Third Sunday of Easter: The New Testament Passage – A glimpse of the Heaven of Revelation, narrated by Preacher and Seeker

Preacher: “Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels surrounding the throne and the living creatures and the elders; they numbered myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands,”
Seeker: Imagine a football stadium the size of a city; or a concert hall that stretches out several miles, but the singers are not on the stage but are the audience. And the music sweeter than any human force can produce!
Preacher:” . . . singing with full voice,“Worthy is the Lamb that was slaughtered to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”
Seeker: I know the lyrics seem strange – not what you would expect on earth. But in the Heaven of Revelation all focus and attention is on the Divine. Maybe not your idea of Heaven. But remember – this is a celebration of the greatest event in all of creation.
Preacher: “Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, singing,”
Seeker: So creation itself is celebrating. Anything and everything that has ever gone wrong has been made corrected. There are no more flaws in any creature or any person – nothing to mar the heart, soul or spirit.
Preacher: “To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might
forever and ever!”

Seeker: And the reason that perfection now exists is seated in the midst of the celebration. What would you do if you were there?
Preacher: “And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” And the elders fell down and worshiped.” (Revelation 5:11-14)

Fourth Sunday of Lent 2016: The Psalms Passage – Preacher and Seeker 1 preach to Seeker 2 (and us)

Seeker 1: “Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Happy are those to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.”

Preacher: “While I kept silence, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long.”

Seeker 2: Yeah, I would be happy if all my sins, my “transgressions” were forgiven. But I don’t see how keeping silent about them is going to make me suffer.

Preacher: “For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.”

Seeker 1: “Selah!”

Seeker 2: Okay, so maybe I was feeling kinda bad and remorseful. I’m not perfect you know.

Preacher: “Then I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not hide my iniquity;”

Seeker 1: “I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the guilt of my sin.”

Preacher: “Selah.”

Seeker 2: You know, this season of Lent is not easy; especially for someone like me who does not talk a lot about what I am feeling inside. It is hard for me to open up; and I can be just as hard for me to talk to God as it is to people about what I am feeling – my hurts, my sins and such.

Seeker 1: “Therefore let all who are faithful offer prayer to you; at a time of distress, the rush of mighty waters shall not reach them.”

Seeker 2: I know for listening to you two that it is better to talk to God and get right with God than it is to hide away. And I know more often than not I try to struggle through things on my own than to let anyone, God or anyone else know what is going on.

Preacher: “You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with glad cries of deliverance.”

Seeker 1: “Selah.”

Seeker 2: I get it; talk to God. Talk to others who can help me understand God and what God can do for me. But when I am knee deep in trouble, I just don’t think about “falling on my knees” so to speak.

Preacher: “I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”

Seeker 1: “Do not be like a horse or a mule, without understanding, whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle, else it will not stay near you.”

Seeker 2: Now just hold on! That is just a little bit harsh and rough. Just because I may not turn to God first thing, doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with me!

Seeker 1: “Many are the torments of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the Lord.”

Seeker 2: I am not wicked! [sniff] I don’t want to be wicked. I do want God and I need God’s steadfast love! And I do want to develop steadfast love for God!

Preacher: “Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.” (Psalms 32)

Seeker 2: I will try. Especially in this season of Lent, I will try to be the person God wants me to be. Then I will rejoice and be glad in the Lord. Then I will shout for joy. Let it be as you say, O God. Selah!

 

 

Oh beloved reader, there is so much commentary, explanation and insight I want to give on what is going one here with Preacher, Seeker 1 and Seeker 2. Their characters, their purpose, their faith and outlook on life. And how they see God. I am hoping you can “read between the lines” and see what I tried to craft and create. And I hope in some small way it contributes to your journey through this season of Lent. Selah!

First Sunday of Lent 2016: The Psalms Passage – Preacher and Seeker read and reflect on Ash Wednesday and Lenten themes

Seeker: “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.”
Preacher: We are all sinners. If we look deep inside ourselves, we know where we have gone wrong, and what we could have done better. But it is hard to look that deeply into ourselves and so we prefer not to. Days like Ash Wednesday and church season like Lent invite and encourage us to examine ourselves.
Seeker: “Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are justified in your sentence and blameless when you pass judgment. Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me.”

Preacher: Many may say, “I have not hurt anyone; I have not caused anyone harm. I am truthful and kind in all things.” But when measured against the Lord’s precepts and example, we fall short. And it is God we have let down, and not necessarily our fellow being. The gap between what we know we should do and be like, and we are actually is the area and arena of our sins.
Seeker: “You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.”
Preacher: The Lord speaks to us, convicting us of our sin. But the Lord also speaks words of love, encouragement, forgiveness and mercy. While we may be desolate in our sin, we are not with out hope and not with out a remedy for our sin.
Seeker: ”Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.”

Preacher: And where there is hope, there is peace and harmony – yes, joy and gladness. We are not left alone but are comforted by our Lord . . . and by the faith that urges us to seek out our Lord.
Seeker: “Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.”

Preacher: Those who have learned of these things – the mercy, grace, compassion, and forgiveness of the Lord – are compelled to pass this blessing and gift along to others. Both in the way we treat others, forgiving them, and teaching them of God’s blessing of forgiveness for them.
Seeker: “Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.”
Preacher: Both those who are taught and those who teach come to the Lord together. Yea, we a mixture of each, the taught and the teacher. These roles come to us, each in their own time; the taught becomes the teacher, and the teacher learns. Both come before God, and both need to come before God, asking and relying on God’s restoration for us.
Seeker: “Deliver me from bloodshed, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.”

Preacher: We come before God, bringing only ourselves. We leave behind our wants, and yes, our fears. Our will and our demands have not place before God. They vanish in the better way of the Lord’s teachings.
Seeker: “For you have no delight in sacrifice; if I were to give a burnt offering, you would not be pleased. The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” (Psalms 51:1-17)

Preacher: The Lord does not despise us, we who are sinners and confess our sins; we who willing doing penance. The Lord loves us, and has provided a way for us to be made pure and holy, finally in the perfect image of our God! For that brief shining moment that we are free of sin. Praise be to God, however, that the Lord loves us in our sinful nature. Because . . . our sin is ever before us.

Seeker: It is part of being human that we can go from being forgiven to being laden again with sin. We are blessed indeed to have a Lord who loves us when we could be deemed unlovable. This is a Lord to abide with.
Preacher: “You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.” (Psalms 91:1-2)
Seeker: When we are hard pressed and the world seems to be closing in on us, the Lord makes a safe place for us to dwell.
Preacher: “Because you have made the Lord your refuge, the Most High your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, no scourge come near your tent.”
Seeker: When we walk with the Lord, and trust in the Lord, we are made safe from the things that threaten us. Even in our sinful nature, the Lord looks out for us.
Preacher: “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the adder, the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot.”
Seeker: Our sinful nature tests the Lord, but the Lord does not abandon those who seek out God and follow God.
Preacher: “ Those who love me, I will deliver; I will protect those who know my name. When they call to me, I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble, I will rescue them and honor them. With long life I will satisfy them, and show them my salvation.” (Verses 9-16)

Seeker: May we give praise and thanksgiving to our God. May our praises and adoration be lifted up, and may all the people join in saying, “Amen!”

Season After Pentecost – Victory over what comes against us: a Preacher and Seeker Reading (The Psalms Passage)

Preacher: “If it had not been the Lord who was on our side . . ”
Seeker: “—let Israel now say—if it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when our enemies attacked us . . “
Seeker : “ . . then they would have swallowed us up alive . .”
Praise be to God that the Lord was on our side!
Preacher: “ . . when their anger was kindled against us; then the flood would have swept us away, the torrent would have gone over us:”
Seeker : “ . . . then over us would have gone the raging waters.”
We would have been adrift and lost. But the Lord was with us and did not forsake us.
Preacher: “Blessed be the Lord, who has not given us as prey to their teeth.”
Seeker: “We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we have escaped.”
Praise to God that we have escaped misfortune and death. The snare of sin has been lifted from us and has passed us by, through the power and redemption of our Lord and King!
Preacher: Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 124 with some additional exclamations)

Whoever placed together the reading from the book of Esther and this psalm did well. Esther and her fellow Jews escaped with their lives. They were given permission to defend themselves against those who sought to kill them, and not one life was lost amongst all the Jews.

While I do not advocate arming one’s self and defending one’s self with aggression, neither do I believe we should be defenseless against what seeks to harm us. I firmly believe that God is our Defender, and that Lord is ever on our side. However, some victories come not in this life but in the life to come. The world often times is set against us, and we find ourselves at the mercy of those larger and more powerful than us in our human lives. Whether in this life or in the life to come, may you receive this blessing of safety from harm beloved reader. Selah!

Season After Pentecost – A Preacher and Seekers’ Conversation (The Epistles Passage)

Preacher: “Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom.”
Seeker 2: I do not know if I am wise. I do not know if I have the kind of wisdom that you are talking about. I try to be a good person. But does it truly mean to be a “good person.”

Seeker 1: “But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish.”
Seeker 2: I do not think I am a “bad person.” That is, I hope I am not “devilish” [small laugh] Is it wrong to be ambitious and want things for yourself?

Preacher: “For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind.”
Seeker 2: That does not sound good. I dislike disorder and as I said, I try to be a good person.

Preacher: “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.”
Seeker 2: These sound like good things; purity, peace and gentleness, mercy and good fruits. But a willingness to yield, I do not understand that. And no partiality or hypocrisy – what does that mean?

Preacher: “Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you?”
Seeker 2: It is true that I have felt restless at times. Like there are two opposing forces fighting over . . . something.

Seeker 1: “You want something and do not have it; so you commit murder. And you covet something and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures.”
Seeker 2: Now wait a minute! I have never committed murder! Never thought about it! Yes, I see things I would like to have; most people have. But disputes and conflicts! I don’t do that. I try to do good! I try to be a good person! What do you want of me?!

Preacher: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” (James 3:13-4:3, 7-8a)
Seeker 2: Dear God! I never expected this! I am not sure I am ready for all this!

I want you to imagine, beloved reader, Seeker 2 standing between Seeker 1 and Preacher. Preacher being more soft-spoken of the two, with Seeker 1 as the harsher accusing voice. But both of them volleying these scriptures back and forth, with Seeker 2 trying to make sense of it. We who have grown in faith and feel steady in our beliefs may not appreciate how these scriptures may sound to a new listener or reader. Many of the epistles were filled with new and unusual teachings, strange to hear and understand. Seeker 2 has come (and indeed was created) to embody this type of person.

If you find yourself closer aligned to Seeker 2 than to Seeker 1 and Preacher, do not be alarmed or think I am directing this to you. Every day people are coming to faith, or as is the focus for this lectionary year, coming to renewed and recommitted faith. Every one at some point could be in the role of preachers and seekers. And our Lord God gives instruction and guidance to each person.

I have deliberately left Seeker 2 in a quandary about this passage in James. But I do hope and pray, beloved reader, if you are in a quandary about this passage that you will seek instruction and guidance from someone close at hand to you. Selah!

Season After Pentecost – Preacher and Seeker read Psalm 125 (The Psalms Passage)

Preacher: “Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever.”
Seeker 1: Those who place their trust in the Lord God are firmly rooted in their faith. What ever happens in their lives, they look to God for help and strength. And the Lord God does not fail them.
Preacher: “As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people, from this time on and forevermore.”

Seeker 1: We can depend on the Lord to encircle us with love, care, understanding, mercy and forgiveness. We are not “protected” so that nothing bad will happen to us. But what ever happens, we are never alone!
Preacher: “For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest on the land allotted to the righteous, so that the righteous might not stretch out their hands to do wrong.”
Seeker 1: Our Lord will keep the influence of the wicked from those who seek to remain faithful to our Lord’s commandments.
Seeker 2: Oh come now! All are sinners! All of us are influenced by those things that are wicked!
Seeker 1: Yes, young seeker. Even good people can fail and do bad things. But then in the Lord’s eyes they are no longer righteous!
Preacher: “Do good, O Lord, to those who are good, and to those who are upright in their hearts.”
Seeker 1: The Lord will continue to reside with the righteous, and walk with them as they walk with the Lord.
Seeker 2: And . . . what of those who no longer walk with the Lord?
Preacher: “But those who turn aside to their own crooked ways the Lord will lead away with evildoers.”
Seeker 1: May the Lord guide us along the correct path, calling us back when we go astray.
Seeker 2: The Lord will do this? The Divine will not leave us forsaken in our sin?
Seeker 1:
Listen for the voice of correction from the Lord, young seeker. Listen also to the guidance and counsel of fellow believers.
Seeker 2: What guarantee do we have that the Lord will do this?
Preacher: “Peace be upon Israel!” (Psalms125)
Seeker 1: Shalom is the Lord’s gift and blessing to us. Wholeness and well-being will be ours when we renew and recommitment ourselves to the Lord. Selah!

With the addition of a second Seeker’s voice, I am hoping to present several perspectives on the scripture passages. Sometimes a little skepticism and a “just learning about faith issues” approach can open up a passage, and those who are well set in their beliefs can be reminded anew of the depth and breadth of the Lord’s compassion and desire to be in relationship to us. Selah indeed!

Season After Pentecost – A Choral Reading in Praise of the Lord: Preacher and Seeker widen the circle (The Psalms Passage)

Seeker 1: “Praise the Lord!”
Preacher: Praise the Lord O my soul! Praise the Almighty who is worthy of praise!
Seeker 1: “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation.”

Preacher: Let us gather to together to praise our God. Let us sing songs and lift up praise melodies in the Lord’s name!
Seeker 1: “Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them.”

Preacher: I have studied the works of the Lord and delight in the Lord’s words. They rule my day and night.
Seeker 1: “Full of honor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures forever.”

Preacher: The Lord’s righteous is my stronghold. It holds me up through storm and trial. It never fails.
Seeker 1: “He has gained renown by his wonderful deeds; the Lord is gracious and merciful.”

Preacher: The mercy of the Lord endures forever. Gracious is the Lord’s care for me. I have known the Lord’s gentle hand and it sustains me.

Seeker 2: What has the Lord done that is worthy of praise, fellow believer?
Preacher: “He provides food for those who fear him; he is ever mindful of his covenant.”

Seeker 2: Who does the Lord show favor to? Who is worthy of the Lord’s blessings?
Preacher: “He has shown his people the power of his works, in giving them the heritage of the nations.”

Seeker 2: The Lord is mighty. The ways of the Lord are far beyond me. How can I trust that the Lord cares about one such as me?
Preacher: “The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy. They are established forever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness”.

Seeker 2: Tell me more about this Lord. I am needful of my Lord God.
Preacher: “He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant forever. Holy and awesome is his name.”

Seeker 2: I would fear this Lord; but I also desire to know the Lord God better.
Preacher: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding.

Seeker 1: Let us come together to learn about and worship the Lord God. The Lord is just and mighty, gracious and merciful. All are invited to draw near and widen their understanding. And let us praise our Lord God for all of the blessing that have been bestowed upon us!
All: “His praise endures forever.” (Psalm 111)

When Preacher and Seeker first debuted, I envisioned two people talking privately, on to another. One who was steeped in the knowledge of God and one who was learning. As time went by Seeker became more knowledgeable, and confident in her/his faith. So the conversation became a ongoing confession of faith and understanding. Now a second Seeker has joined, as an invitation for people of all experiences of faith. It is my ongoing hope, beloved reader, that you have felt free to use these “conversations” as you have felt led. Selah!

Season After Pentecost – Preacher and Seeker read Psalm 14 together (The Psalms Passage)

Preacher: “Fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is no one who does good.”
Seeker: Those who do not believe in God are fools twice. Fools once because they do not believe. Fools again because they do evil in the sight of a God who is real.

Preacher: “The Lord looks down from heaven on humankind to see if there are any who are wise, who seek after God.”
Seeker: The Lord invites and encourages humanity to believe. The Lord hopes humanity will believe, and the heavens and those who dwell there hope too.

Preacher: “They have all gone astray, they are all alike perverse; there is no one who does good,
no, not one.”

Seeker: It is hard to find those who believe, and will live out their beliefs. So hard that it would almost seem like none believe.

Preacher: “Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers who eat up my people as they eat bread, and do not call upon the Lord?”
Seeker: The Divine asks, are there none who will believe? And will their unbelief ravage and devour those few who do believe?

Preacher: “There they shall be in great terror, for God is with the company of the righteous.”
Seeker: It will not go well with those who cause God’s people to suffer because the Lord dwells with and undertakes for the righteous.

Preacher: “You would confound the plans of the poor, but the Lord is their refuge.”
Seeker: The poor and downtrodden cry out to the Lord and that Lord hears them and comes to them. The poor are not alone but have the Lord with them. The oppressed find their strength in God.

Preacher: “O that deliverance for Israel would come from Zion!”
Seeker: Do not doubt that deliverance will come. What seems now like defeat for those who suffer will turn to victory.

Preacher: “When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people, Jacob will rejoice; Israel will be glad.” (Psalm 14)
Seeker: Those who have been foolish and lived as if there is no God will be shown the full error of their ways. When the Lord’s people have been rescued and vindicate all of humanity will see what has been true from the beginning of time. God reigns! And God’s people will enjoy the favor of the Lord forever! Selah!

Beloved reader, Psalms 14 is a passage that seemed to cry out for the attentions of Preacher and Seeker. Seeker has come a long way since heard from. Preacher either speaks the scripture or has the greater insight into scripture. But much wisdom and knowledge has been revealed to Seeker. It is my hope and prayer that the Lord has revealed much wisdom and knowledge to you also. Shalom!