Tuesday, December 20, 2011

To Remember

BLT via JKGayle explores tender territory. I was going to leave a comment - but it morphed into too many random thoughts.

I am glad to see another blogger show the connection between Psalm 6 and Mt 7.23. (Leave me, all workers of mischief) I was surprised last January at the allusion. For me it re-frames the NT story:

1. Jesus identifies unambiguously with the psalmist in trouble - "do not rebuke me in your anger" (6.1),
2. "depart from me" never has to be the last word to anyone - restoration is still possible even after the shame of exile.

Psalm 6 is formative as a psalm of correction - the very correction Job longs for - the referee. It is vital for those 'kinglets' who have known "a hint of his anger" (Psalm 2 כִּי יִבְעַר כִּמְעַט אַפּוֹ "for he kindles with a hint of his anger"). It also begins the Psalter's theme of memory (6.6. "there is not in death remembrance of you").

Memory - remembrance is frequent in the Psalter but there are strong verbal links from Psalm 6 to Psalm 38, inscribed 'to remember' and 38.2 אַל בְּקֶצְפְּךָ תוֹכִיחֵנִי "do not in your rage correct me or in heat chasten me" immediately recalling 6:1. Psalm 70 like 38 is inscribed with 'to remember' and recalls Psalm 40 - implicitly recalling the entr'acte (38-41) between Books 1 and 2, and finally Psalm 137 a multi-voiced psalm of remembering closing the circle of the exile begun explicitly in Psalm 42.  Memory is central to worship - so Psalm 22

All the ends of the earth will remember and will turn to יְהוָה
All the families of the nations will worship in your presence

a necessary healing I think, however we are drawn in to the Beloved.