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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Ps. 121, 123-125, 128-130

The selections will get choppy as we attempt to maintain the chronological approach to reading the Scriptures.  I'll be reading Second Samuel, Psalms and First Chronicles.  All deal with King David's reign.  Based on a briefing reading of the New Interpreter's Bible Introduction to Psalms, it appears that it was written generally at the same time as the Deuteronomic and Priestly selections of the Old Testament, around the time of the exile (590 BCE - 530 BCE -ish) 

Each of the Psalms in today's reading is short.  Psalm 121 is directed to the reader, not God, and encourages faith in God.  There is a real mix of lamentation and praise.  So, Psalm 123, 129, and 130 talk about oppression and suffering.  Psalm 124, on the other hand, claims that but for God's intervention, we'd all be doomed.  And then Psalm 128 is almost straight up prosperity gospel about how great God is to the righteous.

Psalm 130 is my favorite because of its hopefulness.
A song of ascents.

1 Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;
2 Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
to my cry for mercy.

3 If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,
Lord, who could stand?
4 But with you there is forgiveness,
so that we can, with reverence, serve you.

5 I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
6 I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.

7 Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
for with the Lord is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.
8 He himself will redeem Israel
from all their sins.
The Psalms are also so much more individual focused than what we've read so far in the Old Testament.  And this bit about forgiveness of sins, of "my" sins, seems downright New Testament.  And of course, the New Testament didn't come out of nowhere, right?  Obviously its claims have to be rooted in the belief system of first century Jews, which in turn are rooted in the works I'm reading now.

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