Am I nuts for taking a measure of ironic hope from this Psalm's lament of a decayed world?
What makes me feel this way? As a "Psalm of David," let's figure this song is around 3000 years old. And what does David report on the state of his world, three long millennia ago? "The godly are no more"..."The faithful have vanished from among men"..."Everyone lies to his neighbor"..."The wicked freely strut about"... To me, it sounds like the same observations could be written today!
I have noticed that it seems to be a generational constant to bemoan the deterioration of society. It is easy (too easy) for me to look around and gripe endlessly about shameful and coarse elements of today's culture. Even in 25 years, a lot has changed for the worse.
So, in a very weird sort of way, this Psalm comforts me that even in David's time, pessimism and dismay was a natural verdict on the world. Could it be that every generation, from age to age, feels the same?
Whether you agree with my warped perspective or not, there are also lines contained in this Psalm that should give us all hope without the need for any controversy: "The words of the Lord are flawless"..."O Lord you will keep us safe"..."'I will now arise,' says the Lord, 'I will protect them from those who malign them.'"
Age to age, the world seems to be the same. It is a mess and at risk of falling even further into chaos. Sadly, that's the normal state of affairs. But, thanks be to God, from age to age He is the same as well, and God is a source of compassion and grace and justice and mercy for that increasingly troubled world in which we find ourselves!