Tehillim Seven: Cush

This psalm has a writer and a topic: it’s written by King David, and is specifically dealing with Cush the Benjamite. I don’t actually remember this character – I’m not sure if we came across him somewhere in Nevi’im and I forgot, or if this is the first time he’s mentioned. In this instance, he seems to be someone who is an enemy of David, someone who he is afraid of. “May evil destroy the wicked, and may You establish the righteous, for the righteous God tests the hearts and the reins (Psalms 7:10).” David is calling Cush wicked and asking for his destruction, while setting himself up as righteous and just. While I acknowledge that I don’t know the circumstances of this enmity, based on a great deal of our recent current events, I’m hesitant to approve of this setting up of an ‘other.’ Giving one person a monopoly on justice and denouncing the other one as evil effectively dehumanizes them and makes it that much harder to come to a place of reconciliation. While there are definitely people who don’t deserve our understanding and tolerance (hi, Nazis), on the whole, I believe it’s important to maintain a respect for the humanity in those that we see as other.

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