To the leader. Of David.
Fools say in their hearts, ‘There is no God.’
They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds;
there is no one who does good.
The Lord looks down from heaven on humankind
to see if there are any who are wise,
who seek after God.
They have all gone astray, they are all alike perverse;
there is no one who does good,
no, not one.
Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers
who eat up my people as they eat bread,
and do not call upon the Lord?
There they shall be in great terror,
for God is with the company of the righteous.
You would confound the plans of the poor,
but the Lord is their refuge.
O that deliverance for Israel would come from Zion!
When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people,
Jacob will rejoice; Israel will be glad.
Devotion by David Burns
Thomas Keating says “the notion that God is absent is the fundamental illusion of the human condition.” The Psalmist says that it is the fools who believe there is no God.
Well, the circumstances of life can occasionally align themselves to make fools of us all. Chaos in our relationships, sickness for our children, poverty for way too many, lack of meaningful work, and failing institutions and belief systems can conspire to challenge our belief in God. In fact, the historic and current realities of our lives can sometimes actually make you feel foolish for clinging to a belief in God.
This Psalm is written for just such a time. To a people who were downtrodden and beaten down, the psalmist says they have not been forgotten. God remains in their company! This message reverberates with God’s fundamental good news found in both testaments - “I am with you!”
And, if that is true, then goodness and love and creativity and hope and truth and imagination and power for transformation are also with us. Life deals what it deals and a loving, present God works with us to transform these realities into resurrection life.
Franciscan Richard Rohr defines faith as believing that God cares about what is happening to us right now. I know this to be true and, most days, it is enough.