Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

The Lord Laughs at the Wicked

When I start to fret about those in high places who oppress the poor and the workers, whose lives are so far from worrying about a roof over their head and food to eat that they will pass still laws further oppressing the poor and homeless, I take consolation in this psalm.


The Pensacola City Council is passing a draconian measure against the homeless. I’ve been so proud of Pensacola, and the citizen response to the homeless, the beds Pensacola provides, the meals the citizens, through a variety of church and social agencies, hand out. Their response is humane, and compassionate.

The homeless are attracted by the moderate climate; they are here in droves. They panhandle at the intersections, they approach you at downtown attractions. They often have dogs. For the most part, they greet people cheerfully or respectfully, and they aren’t aggressive.


They are, in truth, a kind of plague on Pensacola, but as a traveler, I have brushed my teeth in many a restroom, changed my clothes, even had to rise out a coffee stained outfit before my next flight once – these are things for which the homeless will be charged with an offense against the law. If I were without a place for the night, I might look for a safe public restroom in which to sleep, especially if I had a child with me, as so many women did when I worked with homeless women.

I understand the problem.

But I also understand the desperation of those who have little, and that very little – a public restroom, a safe place to sleep outdoors – are being taken away from them by this statute. It’s heartless, and if there is truly an accounting at the end of our lives, and an afterlife, I fear for those who put additional burdens on the poorest of the poor.

Psalm 37

Of David.
1 Do not fret because of the wicked;
do not be envious of wrongdoers,
2 for they will soon fade like the grass,
and wither like the green herb.

3 Trust in the Lord, and do good;
so you will live in the land, and enjoy security.
4 Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

5 Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
6 He will make your vindication shine like the light,
and the justice of your cause like the noonday.

7 Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him;
do not fret over those who prosper in their way,
over those who carry out evil devices.

8 Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath.
Do not fret—it leads only to evil.
9 For the wicked shall be cut off,
but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.

10 Yet a little while, and the wicked will be no more;
though you look diligently for their place, they will not be there.
11 But the meek shall inherit the land,
and delight in abundant prosperity.

12 The wicked plot against the righteous,
and gnash their teeth at them;
13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
for he sees that their day is coming.

14 The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows
to bring down the poor and needy,
to kill those who walk uprightly;
15 their sword shall enter their own heart,
and their bows shall be broken.

16 Better is a little that the righteous person has
than the abundance of many wicked.
17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken,
but the Lord upholds the righteous.

18 The Lord knows the days of the blameless,
and their heritage will abide for ever;
19 they are not put to shame in evil times,
in the days of famine they have abundance.

20 But the wicked perish,
and the enemies of the Lord are like the glory of the pastures;
they vanish—like smoke they vanish away.

21 The wicked borrow, and do not pay back,
but the righteous are generous and keep giving;
22 for those blessed by the Lord shall inherit the land,
but those cursed by him shall be cut off.

23 Our steps* are made firm by the Lord,
when he delights in our* way;
24 though we stumble,* we* shall not fall headlong,
for the Lord holds us* by the hand.

25 I have been young, and now am old,
yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
or their children begging bread.
26 They are ever giving liberally and lending,
and their children become a blessing.

27 Depart from evil, and do good;
so you shall abide for ever.
28 For the Lord loves justice;
he will not forsake his faithful ones.

The righteous shall be kept safe for ever,
but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.
29 The righteous shall inherit the land,
and live in it for ever.

30 The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom,
and their tongues speak justice.
31 The law of their God is in their hearts;
their steps do not slip.

32 The wicked watch for the righteous,
and seek to kill them.
33 The Lord will not abandon them to their power,
or let them be condemned when they are brought to trial.

34 Wait for the Lord, and keep to his way,
and he will exalt you to inherit the land;
you will look on the destruction of the wicked.

35 I have seen the wicked oppressing,
and towering like a cedar of Lebanon.*
36 Again I* passed by, and they were no more;
though I sought them, they could not be found.

37 Mark the blameless, and behold the upright,
for there is posterity for the peaceable.
38 But transgressors shall be altogether destroyed;
the posterity of the wicked shall be cut off.

39 The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord;
he is their refuge in the time of trouble.
40 The Lord helps them and rescues them;
he rescues them from the wicked, and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.

May 30, 2013 - Posted by | Bureaucracy, Charity, Civility, Community, Crime, Cultural, ExPat Life, Faith, Financial Issues, Interconnected, Law and Order, Leadership, Living Conditions, Local Lore, Pensacola, Political Issues, Social Issues, Values |

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