But God is compassionate and merciful

Psalm 86:14-15 O God, insolent people rise up against me; a violent gang is trying to kill me. You mean nothing to them. But you, O Lord, are a God of compassion and mercy, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.

The last twenty-four hours have brought horrible shootings to El Paso and Dayton. I come to the assigned readings for today in tears, looking for comfort and hope. Psalm 86 is one of David’s very personal prayers for himself. My distress flips it into “Bend down, O Lord, and hear our prayer; answer us, for we need your help. . . Protect us . . . Save us . . . Be merciful to us . . . hear our urgent cry . . .”

We are a nation desperately in need of the Lord’s intervention, his protection from ourselves. I need—we need—cleansing from our collective fears. “Teach us your ways, O Lord, that we may live according to your truth! Grant us purity of heart, so that we may honor you” (v. 11).

Our travel in and out of so many countries gives us an interesting perspective on the United States. Shaking their heads, people say “Your problem with immigration is puzzling. Why would anyone want to live in such a violent country? Bring all your family to live here—it would be so much better for you!” Here being Colombia, or Brazil, or Bolivia.

We are not, as a nation, doing a good job of modeling the Lord’s ways: compassion, mercy, slowness to get angry, unfailing love and faithfulness.

Look down and have mercy on us, O Lord. . . save us . . .” (v. 16). Break what needs to be broken in us, Lord. Heal what needs to be healed.

Someday—can’t it be soon, Lord?

              Justice will rule in the wilderness and righteousness in the fertile field.

              And this righteousness will bring peace.

              Yes, it will bring quietness and confidence forever. (Isaiah 32:16-17)

Lord, I beg for your mercy on every family suffering today terrible, senseless loss. Please, today, may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

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