Superman and Psalm 45
In your majesty, ride out to victory, defending truth, humility, and justice. Go forth to perform awe-inspiring deeds!
When I was a boy, I loved watching the Adventures of Superman on our black-and-white Motorola television set. How I longed to be just like that “strange visitor from another planet” who fought a “never-ending battle for truth, justice, and the American way.”
Superman, ironically enough, has much in common with the king who is praised in Psalm 45. This psalm is unusual in that it is addressed, not to God or to the people of Israel, but to the king on the occasion of his wedding (45:13-15). In verse 4, the psalmist urges the king to “ride out to victory, defending truth, humility, and justice.” That’s not exactly “truth, justice, and the American way,” but two out of three ain’t half bad.
When we pray for our leaders, as Scripture urges us to do (1 Tim. 2:2), we should ask the Lord to lead them in the ways of truth, humility, and justice. Yet Psalm 45:4 also provides a model for our behavior in the world. We too are to be people of truth, humility, and justice.
As people of truth, we will speak and live in a way that reflects God and his revelation. In a world of falsehood, in which truth itself is under attack, we will seek the truth in all things, stand for the truth in what we say and do.
As people of humility, we will never speak the truth in a way that is haughty, as if the truth belongs to us. Moreover, we will always see ourselves as subjects of the King of kings, and offer our lives to him and to others as servants. Thus we will imitate the humble servanthood of Jesus.
As people of justice, we will treat all people fairly and will work for a world that offers justice to all. We will be especially committed to doing justice for the poor and powerless. Where we have been given authority, in our work, our families, our churches, or our community, we will strive for just systems that reflect the character of God.
When you “ride out” today into the world, defend truth, humility, and justice as God’s viceroy, God’s servant.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: How can you express your commitment to truth today? How can you live with humility? How can you seek God’s justice in your part of the world?
PRAYER: O Lord, even as the king was to be a person of truth, humility, and justice, so am I. You have called me to speak and to live truthfully. I am to imitate the humility of Jesus and to seek your justice in all things. Help me, dear Lord, to be this kind of person in all that I do.
Even as I go through this day, may your Spirit bring to mind ways that I can be more truthful, more humble, and more just. To you be all the glory. Amen.