THE PREACHER wouldn’t let us pray this prayer in church. Someone would hit the brakes.
But it’s in the Bible.
People used to pray like this.
We do, too, when no one’s listening.
As you might imagine, it jumped out of the Bible at me.
It’s too close to home and far too relevant some 3,000 years after it was written.
Here you go, some vintage frustration, seasoned to perfection.
Mighty leaders, dirty hands
Well hello, mighty leaders.
You talk a good talk about justice.
But do you live it, or just talk it?
Nothing good goes on inside your head.
Your dirty hands do nothing but break the law.
People that evil were born rotten.
Those liars went bad the day they took a breath.
They are as toxic as a venomous snake.
They’re a cobra, not interested in listening.
Not open to the voice of the snake charmers,
Or the sounds of someone spinning a spell.
Knock their teeth out, God
God, smash the teeth
Right outta their mouths.
LORD, Snap the fangs
Off those beastly lions.
Drain them out of here
Like runoff water.
When they let their arrows fly,
Let them fly without their tips.
Let these people die slowly
Like snails dissolving into slime.
Or take them quickly, like a child born dead.
Don’t even let them see the sunrise.
Faster than a pot
Feels the heat of a thornbush fire,
May God sweep them out
In a whirlwind.
Good people will celebrate
When they see the justice of vengeance.
God will wash his feet
In the blood of the wicked.
Then the world will say,
“There is a reward for good people.
There is a God who judges,
And who brings justice to the earth.”
Psalm 58, Casual English Bible
We all know the preacher wouldn’t want us to say “Amen.” But if the preacher read this in church, who wouldn’t want to?
We all want the bad guys to go down in a flaming fire of goose grease. If only we could agree on who the bad guys are.
I certainly know. But I’ve already convinced my mother. Aside from her, I carry little weight.
And dear Mom may be only telling me what I want to hear.
In this country, we still have the right to vote. We should not presume we will always have this right. Roman senators lost it to a dictator. We could, too.
Ya got that, Mom?