04 June 2022

Praying with the Psalms in Easter:
4 June 2022 (Psalm 101)

‘I will sing of loyalty and of justice’ (Psalm 101: 1) … the statue of Justice by John Van Nost (1721) in Dublin Castle (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

Before this day begins, I am taking some time this morning to continue my reflections in this season of Easter, including my morning reflections drawing on the Psalms.

In my blog, I am reflecting each morning in this Prayer Diary in these ways:

1, Short reflections on a psalm or psalms;

2, reading the psalm or psalms;

3, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary.

Psalm 101:

Psalm 101 is sometimes known by its Latin name Misericordiam et judicium. In the slightly different numbering system in the Greek Septuagint and Latin Vulgate, this psalm is counted as Psalm 100.

This is one of the psalms not included in the Revised Common Lectionary. But one way of reading Psalm 101 is to divide it into these sections:

1,, verse 1: God’s ‘loyalty and mercy’ or ‘mercy’ and ‘justice’ go together, for while justice may pronounce a penalty, mercy may grant relief. As king, David knows that before he could exercise mercy and justice, he had to understand and extol the mercy and justice of God.

2, verse 2: David is determined that his reign is marked by integrity and godliness, and to live a wise and holy life. As he came to a position of greater power, he experienced that power often exposes the flaws of character, if it does not actually help create them. His righteous life had to be real in his conduct within his own house, before it could be applied in the courts of his kingdom.

3, verses 3-4: one measure of a righteous life was what one chose to set before the eyes, as the lust of the eyes is a significant aspect of the lure of this world.

4, verse 5: to lie or speak in an evil way against another person is a significant and grievous sin and the worst of it is done secretly, so David was determined to oppose all who did so.

5, verses 6-8: Instead of looking at those who thought themselves better than others, David preferred to look at the faithful, deciding that they would dwell with him. David’s determination to rule in favour of the godly, made him decide to remove the wicked early on from the city of God.

‘A haughty look and an arrogant heart I will not tolerate’ (Psalm 101: 5) … street art in the Portobello area in Dublin (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2021)

Psalm 101 (NRSVA):

Of David. A Psalm.

1 I will sing of loyalty and of justice;
to you, O Lord, I will sing.
2 I will study the way that is blameless.
When shall I attain it?

I will walk with integrity of heart
within my house;
3 I will not set before my eyes
anything that is base.

I hate the work of those who fall away;
it shall not cling to me.
4 Perverseness of heart shall be far from me;
I will know nothing of evil.

5 One who secretly slanders a neighbour
I will destroy.
A haughty look and an arrogant heart
I will not tolerate.

6 I will look with favour on the faithful in the land,
so that they may live with me;
whoever walks in the way that is blameless
shall minister to me.

7 No one who practises deceit
shall remain in my house;
no one who utters lies
shall continue in my presence.

8 Morning by morning I will destroy
all the wicked in the land,
cutting off all evildoers
from the city of the Lord.

Today’s Prayer:

The theme in this week’s prayer diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) is ‘Global Day of Parents.’

This theme in the USPG Prayer Diary concludes this morning (4 June 2022), inviting us to pray:

Let us pray for everyone who has a difficult relationship with their parents, acknowledging this in how we talk to others.

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued tomorrow

Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition copyright © 1989, 1995, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org

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