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Here’s the question. Do we really want to get rid of all the devious, carnal, and despicable people around us? C. S. Lewis suggested in his Reflections on the Psalms that we are really only opposed to the enemies of God when they cease to amuse us, flatter us, and serve some utility for us (p. 74). In reflecting on this Psalm and others like it, Lewis interpreted a phrase from the Model Prayer to reflect how we should understand this.

“’Lead us not into temptation,’ often means, among other things, ‘Deny me those gratifying invitations, those highly interesting contacts, that participation in the brilliant movements of our age, which I so often, at such risk, desire.’” Isn’t that what this last section of the Psalm is all about? The psalmist asks God to keep him aligned with God and not dependent upon idols. And when we refuse to align ourselves with those who oppose God, are we not also avoiding the idols of power, prestige, and privilege?

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