From Psalm 59: "Deliver me from those who work evil; from the bloodthirsty save me. Even now they lie in wait for my life; the mighty stir up strife against me....O my strength, I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love."
Even as they were faced with systemic evil and violence against their bodies and souls, civil rights leaders like John Lewis and C.T. Vivian spoke powerfully of the steadfast love of the liberating God, who is always on the side of the oppressed.
Take a moment to listen to Rep. Lewis's own voice describing his experience facing the enemies of justice and righteousness (scroll down to the video):
Today, the movement continues--a movement of necessary resistance against persistent systemic racism and violence.
May these words be the charge to the church today:
"Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble." - Rep. John Lewis
1 Deliver me from my enemies, O my God; protect me from those who rise up against me.
2 Deliver me from those who work evil; from the bloodthirsty save me.
3 Even now they lie in wait for my life; the mighty stir up strife against me. For no transgression or sin of mine, O Lord,
4 for no fault of mine, they run and make ready. Rouse yourself, come to my help and see!
5 You, Lord God of hosts, are God of Israel. Awake to punish all the nations; spare none of those who treacherously plot evil. Selah
6 Each evening they come back, howling like dogs and prowling about the city.
7 There they are, bellowing with their mouths, with sharp words on their lips— for “Who,” they think, “will hear us?”
8 But you laugh at them, O Lord; you hold all the nations in derision.
9 O my strength, I will watch for you; for you, O God, are my fortress.
10 My God in his steadfast love will meet me; my God will let me look in triumph on my enemies.
11 Do not kill them, or my people may forget; make them totter by your power, and bring them down, O Lord, our shield.
12 For the sin of their mouths, the words of their lips, let them be trapped in their pride. For the cursing and lies that they utter,
13 consume them in wrath; consume them until they are no more. Then it will be known to the ends of the earth that God rules over Jacob. Selah
14 Each evening they come back, howling like dogs and prowling about the city.
15 They roam about for food, and growl if they do not get their fill.
16 But I will sing of your might; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been a fortress for me and a refuge in the day of my distress.
17 O my strength, I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love.