Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, August 20, 2017
Prayer, Injustice and Psalm 58
I was amazed when I read Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s words in this short commentary on Psalm 58. (I’ll deal with verses 1 through 3 tonight.)
First off, verse 1: “Are you then dumb, that you will not speak what is right, and judge the children of men with equity?” Bonhoeffer’s immediate response is somehow prescient…”It is an evil time when the world allows injustice to occur and keeps silent.” 
With all that has happened in these past days, between the horror from the marches and countermarches in Virginia last weekend and the subsequent vigils, marches, and other gatherings this week…it is an evil time indeed when we allow injustice to occur and the mass of humanity observing merely watches, and keeps silent. As Bonhoeffer says, so many are not only dumb, but are unmerciful.
Verse 2: “No, you devise evil in your hearts, and your hands deal out violence in the land.” It is not only those who merely watch that Bonhoeffer condemns. No, it is also the rulers. The leaders and overlords of the countries involved. How long, O Lord? How long? I agree with Herr Pastor Dietrich. It is truly a mystery of godlessness that runs rampant in all humanity.
Verse 3: “The wicked are perverse from the womb; liars go astray from their birth.” Ah. This, again, is the very depth of wickedness.
I am reminded of those verses from Isaiah 53:6 that mention “All we, like sheep, have gone astray. We have turned every one to his own way.” (Ah, Handel, you set those verses so beautifully in your oratorio “Messiah”…) This is such a Lutheran sentiment, too.
All I can think of is running to my Lord and my God for help, for succor, for relief from sinfulness and blackness of heart. I know only too well that there is much injustice in this world. How long, O Lord? How long will we suffer? How long will You be silent?
Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our cries to You.
Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.
 Meditating on the Word, Dietrich Bonhöffer, edited by David McI. Gracie. (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Cowley Publications, 2000), 77.