As the Psalm begins, the author talks about his frequent distress, both personal and on behalf of the community. He is speaking from his own daily experience... and also those of others... lying lips and deceitful lives.
Verses 3 and 4 call for justice to be done... arrows and coals visited upon them.... the deceitful, perhaps even upon me, in my failing journey toward peace. Meschech... Ezekiel 32:26, and Kedar... Isaiah 21:16-17, represent all those who really hate peace.
Distress and deceitful enemies are made personal with questions that end in proclamation of the promise of justice. There is a sense of us and them, as families have gathered as the larger, self-anointed family of God, even the chosen ones. They may be claiming their need for God after returning from exile. The words of the Psalm are both present and future.
Questions for discussion
1. Where am I in this Psalm?
2. What are the signs of my lies and deceit?
3. Describe the deceitful tongue.
4. Who are the liars today?
5. Do we really want justice?
6. What will that justice look like?
7. What would that justice accomplish?
8. Define and describe peace.
9. Who are those in my family, community, nation who hate peace?
10. Why have I lived among the peace-haters?
11. Why are they for war?
12. How do I, alone and with others, build peace?
- Richard Dutton
East Hampton Union Church and their pastor Paul Sweet
East Washington Baptist Church and their pastor John Ward
Preparations for the Annual Gathering