Archive for August 3, 2017

Psalms 27-29   Leave a comment

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POST X OF LX

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The Book of Common Prayer (1979) includes a plan for reading the Book of Psalms in morning and evening installments for 30 days.  I am therefore blogging through the Psalms in 60 posts.

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Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning:

Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them,

that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life,

which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ;

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer (1979), page 226

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Psalms 27, 28, and 29 are similar yet different; all of them praise God, in different contexts.  The author of Psalm 27 expresses ultimate confidence in God and anticipates living in the divine Presence in the afterlife.  Psalm 28, a royal thanksgiving to God for military victory, contains an unfortunate request for divine destruction of, not mercy toward, one’s enemies.  That Psalmist does not expect his foes to repent, or want them to do so.  Psalm 29 glorifies God in nature.  Also, both Psalms 27 and 29 echo Canaanite sacred texts.  They are not the only Psalms to do so.

Yahweh, as depicted in these texts, is a tribal deity.  That is why the author of Psalm 28 could pray devoutly for the destruction of the foes.  If one thinks of God as universal, however, one realizes that the foes of Psalm 28 are as much subject to divine judgment and mercy as the Hebrews are.  If one understands God as the only, universal deity, albeit without universal human recognition, one has an easier time praying for the repentance of one’s enemies.  Behavior becomes more important than national origin.

So be it.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 3, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS JOANNA, MARY, AND SALOME, WITNESSES TO THE RESURRECTION

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Psalms 24-26   Leave a comment

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POST IX OF LX

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The Book of Common Prayer (1979) includes a plan for reading the Book of Psalms in morning and evening installments for 30 days.  I am therefore blogging through the Psalms in 60 posts.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning:

Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them,

that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life,

which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ;

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer (1979), page 226

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Psalms 25 and 26 are laments.  Psalm 25 continues the theme of a faithful Jew whose life is in peril.  The author of Psalm 26 is another devout Jew–one falsely accused of idolatry.  The vivid translation of Psalm 25 by the Father Mitchell J. Dahood captures the mood of both authors well:

Anguish cramps my heart,

of my distress relieve me.

–Verse 17

Both Psalmists turn to God, glorified in Psalm 24.  This is a liturgical text.  If one imagines a grand ritual entailing two alternating choirs and a procession involving the Ark of the Covenant, one gets the idea.  The Presence of God literally enters; as the text indicates, the King of Glory is coming.  If one accepts that, in the words of Psalm 24,

The earth is Yahweh’s and its fullness,

the world and those who dwell therein.

–Psalm 24:1, Mitchell J. Dahood translation,

one must also affirm that God cares for those who dwell therein.  The suffering of the faithful, whether for the sake of righteousness or due to illness, false accusation, merely being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or any other reason, must then be of concern to God.  That is indeed the hope indicated in Psalms 25 and 26.  It is a well-placed hope.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 3, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS JOANNA, MARY, AND SALOME, WITNESSES TO THE RESURRECTION

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Posted August 3, 2017 by neatnik2009 in Psalm 24, Psalm 25, Psalm 26

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