This psalm reinforces a popular notion about sin and guilt in religious circles – if you confess all your sins to god, you will be forgiven and your conscience will be cleared. Sounds good, but it does nothing to correct the wrongs committed, nor make any reparation for injury or trespass. And there’s not even a mention of an apology to the victim. Fail!
This one is a pretty sappy praise song. But it also contains quite a number of objective falsehoods. Read each verse and consider whether the statement made is true. For example, V 4-5 – I don’t think so! V6-8 – creationism. V 13-15 conjure up the vision of a divine puppet-master sitting on a literal throne in the sky, looking down upon a flat earth. V 19 – I wish!
This is an acrostic – ie each verse begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet (it obviously doesn’t work in the English translation). It’s just another sappy poem of praise, but when I got to verse 8, a tune materialized in my head and the memories flooded back. Another cherry-picked verse famously set to music by one of the bigwigs of English liturgical music, Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958). And performed in the video below by one of the masters of today’s sacred choral music, John Rutter (b 1945). I love the music of both these guys! But again, this psalm is pie in the sky, full of falsehoods (check v 10). Oh well, it inspires great music. And there is some good advice in here as well – v 12-14.
David’s obviously had a bad day. He wants god to take vengeance on his behalf against his enemies. He describes in detail all the hurts he’d like to inflict. Same old, same old.