Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil. . . . .  Psalm 141:4

2020 was a tumultuous time in our lives– polarization, violence, inaction, hate, ignorance, disease, isolation and so many deaths– what a year.

Psalm 22 painted a grim picture, the writer feeling despised by the people for his belief in God and that God had forsaken him. The song’s message for God requesting him to stay close as trouble is near and no one to help against the enemies and wild beasts. I get it, 2020 kind of felt like that. The daily onslaught of negativity and hopelessness, the enemies and wild beasts from all-around and within. The uncertainty of God’s love and protection when life goes awry happened with our forefathers and persists in modern times.

Do not despair!  Psalm 22 ended with praises and thanksgivings to God for his rescue.

Unfortunately, the ease towards hatefulness aimed at those that don’t believe as we do, is hard to resist. Psalm 141’s message is of hope in how we can overcome the desire to despise.

 Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil
    so that I take part in wicked deeds
along with those who are evildoers;

my eyes are fixed on you, Sovereign Lord;
    in you I take refuge—

Psalm 95 is a call to recognize and worship God and be thankful for his care, power, and oversight. “Sing with joy to the Lord and shout aloud to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.”

2021 is a new year and with God’s blessing may we rise above the beasts, enemies, and hatefulness. Let God be our guide when life challenges us.

Psalm 95, Psalm 22, Psalm 141, Psalm 143:1-11(12); Jeremiah 29:1, 4-13; Romans 11:13-24; John 11:1-27, John 12:1-10