“Adonai is a haven for the oppressed, a haven in times of trouble.” (9:10)
Sometimes you’re just having one of those days on which problems accumulate. Not necessarily huge problems, but each one is like a tiny brush fire that has to be put out immediately, before it grows, spawning the leaping flames of a giant problem. It’s one of those days when you feel like the only sane person in a world of unstable, psychotic, pyromaniacs playing with matches.
In the world of electronic communication, why do people ‘reply all’ when what is needed is a simple response to the sender? Why do people respond to a carefully worded email with questions and objections based on reading only the subject line and the first sentence, rather than first reading the entire note?
Oppression is a time like this when you’re feeling the pressure of a world full of the noise and static of a dozen annoyances grabbing for your attention like needy toddlers. Oppression is when you come home exhausted after a day of busyness with no breaks, with no sense that you’ve accomplished anything useful, lasting, or meaningful.
The Psalmist asserts that you can find a haven from oppression. The haven can be your home, but only if you put up on invisible force field around your home that admits you, but excludes the troubles. The Mezuzah on the door is the force field – the reminder that this home is a place in which God’s presence lives. Stop at the doorstep – take a breath of redemption, and breath out the oppression. Put a smile on your face, and walk through the door. Welcome to the haven from oppression! Welcome to God’s home!