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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Psalms 95, 97-99

This psalms seemed to have more of a theme than some selections.  They all were psalms of praise for God.  And while most of this is a celebration of God's power, and the questionable theology of God helping the just and the upright (Job's proximity to Psalms in our Bible may be a happy accident.), they do not come without warnings. 

From Psalm 95:
Today, if only you would hear his voice,
"Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah,
as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness,
where your ancestors tested me;
they tried me, though they had seen what I did.
For forty years I was angry with that generation;
I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray,
and they have not known my ways.’
So I declared on oath in my anger,
‘They shall never enter my rest.’”
God declares an oath in God's anger that a segment of God's people will never enter God's rest.  Hashtag harsh.

From Psalm 99 with have this little reminder: you were to Israel a forgiving God, though you punished their misdeeds.

Be faithful to God first and foremost because God is awesome.  But, maybe also don't forget that if you are not faithful to God there are consequences.  Translated through the lens of my personal theology, do what is right because that is the best way to live.  But, maybe also don't forget that there are consequences for wickedness.

Consider the toughest social ills in America.  They are generally derived from power imbalance.  And those of us enjoying the privilege--whether we brought it about or not--need to recognize that there comes a point where balance cannot be restored without pain.  If you steal someone's water rights, and then build a city that depends on those water rights.  Just cannot be neatly restored.  Even by drinking a beer together.

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