Captain Tom Moore has been quoted on his 100th birthday: ‘Together we will beat this enemy’. This man who inspired the world walking 100 laps around his garden has raised 30+ million pounds for NHS charities.
Where we shall be in our fight against the ‘enemy’ Covid-19 on 9th August, I have no idea. Will church buildings be open? What will be the impact of on-line worship? How many will have recovered? How many families will have lost lives to the enemy? The impact that the enemy will have on the recovery, restoration of communities, businesses and churches is still unknown.
Psalm 9, according to commentators, may have been written at a time when Israel had just been delivered from powerful enemies, such as the Egyptians, the Philistines, the Assyrians or the Babylonians. The super- powers have released Israel, justice has been done and love has eventually prevailed.
Robert Alter in his translation of the Hebrew says of verse 17: ‘The Lord is known for the justice (…) he did’.( It sounds a bit like Yoda speaking in a Star Wars film). The translation assumes an (…) ellipsis in the Hebrew. The literal sense of the four Hebrew words in sequence here is : ‘The Lord is known Justice(…) He Did’. Now I have been using three dots in the writing of emails for years ( some have questioned my Suffolk English). I never knew it was ‘a thing’ until I heard it discussed in an interview in lockdown. Don’t rush from ellipses!
Justice and love go together. They lead us to praise God. In times of despair we are even more ready to turn to prayer backed up by practical care and support: ‘For the needy shall not always be forgotten, and the hope of the poor shall not perish forever’ (verse 18). Today the needy will bear the biggest losses at the end of this.
Words of Assurance
from Captain Tom’s No 1 hit song with Michael Ball and the Care Choir
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