Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Psalm 103 - don't miss out big time

From the grab-bag dragnet of posts flying and creeping across my aggregator or otherwise dead in the water, I read Claude's continuing study of psalm 103. (My translation here.)

Verse 8 encapsulates the Old Testament. Most people nurtured on the New Testament and the Christian abstraction do not know this. They are all Marcionites. There - I will let this accusation stand. Hans Küng's little book 'Why I am Still a Christian', is a very honest micro tome. It is very hard to hold onto the adjective Christian when it is so abused and has so much ignorance adhering. Remember Psalm 101:3
I will not put before my eyes a thing of ruin
the work of distraction I hate
it will not cling within me
So:
1. Clean up the trivia - distractions from real life

and

2. it is time - well past time - to understand that the one whose name is salvation participates as the elect child with us. How else could Psalm 103:14 be read: for he himself knows our situation

It is in the psalms that we hear this voice. Such a reading from the author of Hebrews is not a magical prediction. It is not a simplistic wrenching of metaphor from its roots. It is a participation ourselves in the vine, the chosen, the one who has delighted from the beginning and who delights now and for ever in us. We both Old and New are the target of this covenant tenderness and loving-kindness that permeates the 'Old' Testament, which Dan Fraiken (Emeritus Professor of Systematic Theology Queen's University) aptly calls the Senior Testament. Christian - if you have not delved deep into this text, you are a surface dweller. And you are missing out big time.

Here's the table of keywords (occurring more than twice since there are too many - for the pairs see here).  Notice how beautifully the poet prepares verse 8 by using words from it before verse 8 and elaborating on them also thereafter.
Root1234567891011121314151617181920Vs
ברךברכי
bless
1
נפשׁ נפשׁי
my being
1
כל וכל
and all
1
ברךברכי
bless
2
נפשׁ נפשׁי
my being
2
כל כל
all
2
גמל * גמוליו
his rewards
2
כל לכל
of all
3
עוןעונכי
your iniquity
3
כל לכל
of all
3
חסד חסד
kindness
4
רחם* ורחמים
and compassion
4
עשׂה עשׂה
makes
6
צדק צדקות
righteousness
6
כל לכל
for all
6
ידע יודיע
he made known
7
בןלבני
to the children of
7
רחם* רחום
compassionate
8
חסד חסד
kindness
8
לא לא
not
9
לא ולא
and not
9
עלםלעולם
forever
9
לא לא
not
10
עשׂה עשׂה
has he dealt
10
לא ולא
and not
10
עוןכעונתינו
as out iniquities
10
גמל * גמל
has he rewarded
10
שׁמיםשׁמים
heaven is
11
גבר גבר
so powerful is
11
חסד חסדו
his loving-kindness
11
ירא יראיו
those fearing him
11
רחק כרחק
as far removed
12
רחק הרחיק
so far removed
12
רחם* כרחם
as nurtures
13
בןבנים
children
13
רחם* רחם
so nurtures
13
ירא יראיו
those fearing him
13
ידע ידע
knows
14
זכר זכור
he remembers
14
לא ולא
and no
16
קוםמקומו
its place
16
חסד וחסד
but the kindness of
17
עלםמעולם
is from everlasting
17
עלםעולם
everlasting
17
ירא יראיו
those fearing him
17
צדק וצדקתו
and his righteousness
17
בןלבני
to children's
17
בןבנים
chidren
17
זכר ולזכרי
and those remembering
18
עשׂה לעשׂותם
to do them
18
שׁמיםבשׁמים
in the heavens
19
כל בכל
over all
19
ברךברכו
bless
20
גבר גברי
strong of
20
עשׂה עשׂי
doing
20
דבר דברו
his word
20
דבר דברו
his word
20
ברךברכו
bless
21
כל כל
all
21
עשׂה עשׂי
doing
21
ברךברכו
bless
22
כל כל
all
22
עשׂה מעשׂיו
that he has made
22
כל בכל
in all
22
קוםמקמות
places of
22
ברךברכי
bless
22
נפשׁ נפשׁי
my being
22