See, Fear…Laugh?

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by Ryan Shrauner

Why do you boast, O mighty one, of mischief done against the godly?

All day long you are plotting destruction. Your tongue is like a sharp razor, you worker of treachery.

You love evil more than good, and lying more than speaking the truth. Selah

You love all words that devour, O deceitful tongue.

But God will break you down forever;

he will snatch and tear you from your tent;

he will uproot you from the land of the living. Selah

The righteous will see, and fear, and will laugh at the evildoer, saying,

“See the one who would not take refuge in God, but trusted in abundant riches, and sought refuge in wealth!”

But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.

I will thank you forever, because of what you have done.

In the presence of the faithful I will proclaim your name, for it is good.

(Psalm 52)

It’s really not that funny.

Even taking into account that this is likely the laughter of contempt and derision, it is an odd progression:  see, fear, laugh. Either the fear or the laughter seem awkwardly out of place.

It is hard not to trust in might and riches.

It is hard not to shade the truth to support the lifestyle to which one has become committed.

It is hard to reject the evils that enable an unsupportable standard of living and hard to embrace the good that might call that standard into question.

Looking clearly at the things that we boast of, we are ashamed at how worthless they are. Seeing the ways that we are ever honing our tongues to avoid and defend, we are stunned and sickened at what little return we have gotten for the trouble that we have caused.

We are tempted to laugh, to ask God to continually break us down, tear us out of our shabby lives, uproot us from the false world to which we have committed ourselves. This is what the Resurrection does:  bring us to fruitful life after putting the lies we love to death. “I will thank you forever, because of what you have done.”

See the lies that you have told (and been told) in the last day. What do you think they were designed to gain? What fears might underlie their telling? Laugh (as you are able) at the fear…and remember even in your lies and fears, your are loved by God.

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