“Save me, O God, by your name;
vindicate me by your might.
Hear my prayer, O God;
listen to the words of my mouth.
Strangers are attacking me;
ruthless men seek my life —
men without regard for God.
Surely God is my help;
the Lord is the one who sustains me.”
The psalmist recognizes that the world is full of wicked men and women, people who have no regard for God. This world is full of evil. It has its dark places. There are people who do not recognize the eternal authority of our God. They do not see God, they do not keep their eyes on God, they do not follow him. They are seeking their own paths, their own ways. And so we are surrounded by violence and war, we’re confronted daily with poverty and disease, we’re bombarded by accusations and lies, we’re troubled by broken relationships and wrecked communities.
God, though, is the psalmist’s “help.” The Hebrew word used here to describe God is the same word used in Genesis of the woman God made for Adam. Help. Helper. Helpmeet, my dad still says in his funny KJV. The picture is of a strong partner, one who delivers, one who completes and makes whole that which is lacking.
This song suggests that our God is still willing and very, very capable of providing what is needed to fix what’s wrong in this world. Our God is a God of justice and equity. He takes no pleasure in evil. He truly cares for his entire creation. And he longs — his Holy Spirit groans — for that day when all is made right. As followers of the Christ who do hold our God in high regard, we are compelled to keep our eyes on him. We’re moved to seek his ways, not ours. As Gerald Wilson writes,
“We can no longer make light of his power and glory, nor can we ignore the call to participate in the restoration of the world. Our relationships will and must change; we will and must seek justice and equity as God does; we will and must respond to the whole creation in ways that seek its best interests rather than ours.”
God is my help. He makes whole that which is now in part. He makes me whole — total peace. He’s cleansing and restoring his people. He’s making all things perfect and new. Just like he did in the garden.
“I will praise your name, O Lord,
for it is good.”