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Monday, April 24, 2017

Ps. 43-45, 49, 84-85, 87

43: Psalm of anguish and encouraging others to trust God
44: Starts off with all glory to God in our ancestor's conquering, but then switches to where are you God, and (somewhat interestingly) points out that the people have been true to the covenant, so, what's the deal.
45: This one is actually directed at the king, although his having been anointed by God is part of the praise.  It is identified as a wedding song and that matches the theme very well.  The bride gets a couple of lines toward the end.
49: Now this guy has some interesting theological implications. 
12 People, despite their wealth, do not endure;
they are like the beasts that perish.
13 This is the fate of those who trust in themselves,
and of their followers, who approve their sayings.
14 They are like sheep and are destined to die;
death will be their shepherd
(but the upright will prevail over them in the morning).
Their forms will decay in the grave,
far from their princely mansions.
15 But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead;
he will surely take me to himself.
16 Do not be overawed when others grow rich,
when the splendor of their houses increases;
17 for they will take nothing with them when they die,
their splendor will not descend with them.
18 Though while they live they count themselves blessed—
and people praise you when you prosper—
19 they will join those who have gone before them,
who will never again see the light of life.

20 People who have wealth but lack understanding
are like the beasts that perish.
This seems to explicitly contemplate a post-death resurrection.  God will redeem me from the realm of the dead.  Recall Samuel's spirit coming up from the realm of the dead when Saul sought consultation of him because God wasn't talking to him.  My understanding has always been that a heavenly afterlife was a part of Jesus' faith for sure, but not a part of earlier Hebrew tradition. 

84: Just some straight up, God is great: Better is one day in your house than thousands elsewhere.
85: God, you were awesome to us before; please be awesome to us again.
87: The whole world will one day recognize the greatness of those born in Zion.

Interesting note: These are Psalms of "Sons of Korah."  Korah was one of the Levites who joined some Reubenites in rebelling against Moses & Aaron.  I wonder if it is the same Korah.  Lastly, in Spanish we get the informal plural you used in several of these.  I'll have to keep an eye out for this.  E.g., "en su lugar estableciste a nuestros padres; aplastaste a aquellos pueblos, y a nuestros padres los hiciste prosperar."

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