The Church Year and the Lectionary Commentary – 17th Ordinary (Day 2)

Psalm 14

14 Fools say in their hearts, There is no God.
They are corrupt and do evil things;
not one of them does anything good.
2 The LORD looks down from heaven on humans
to see if anyone is wise,
to see if anyone seeks God,
3 but all of them have turned bad.
Everyone is corrupt.
No one does good—
not even one person!
4 Are they dumb, all these evildoers,
devouring my people
like they are eating bread
but never calling on the LORD?
5 Count on it: they will be in utter panic
because God is with the righteous generation.
6 You evildoers may humiliate
the plans of those who suffer,
but the LORD is their refuge.
7 Let Israel’s salvation come out of Zion!
When the LORD changes
his people’s circumstances for the better,
Jacob will rejoice;
Israel will celebrate!

Here’s how The Message renders Psalm 14:

1 Bilious and bloated, they gas, "God is gone."
Their words are poison gas,
fouling the air; they poison
Rivers and skies;
thistles are their cash crop.

2 GOD sticks his head out of heaven.
He looks around.
He's looking for someone not stupid—
one man, even, God-expectant,
just one God-ready woman.

3 He comes up empty. A string
of zeros. Useless, unshepherded
Sheep, taking turns pretending
to be Shepherd.
The ninety and nine
follow their fellow.

4 Don't they know anything,
all these impostors?
Don't they know
they can't get away with this—
Treating people like a fast-food meal
over which they're too busy to pray?

5-6 Night is coming for them, and nightmares,
for God takes the side of victims.
Do you think you can mess
with the dreams of the poor?
You can't, for God
makes their dreams come true.

7 Is there anyone around to save Israel?
Yes. God is around; God turns life around.
Turned-around Jacob skips rope,
turned-around Israel sings laughter.


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