Day 181

Psalms 86-89

#86

We’re back to David, but just for this one. Actually, I could tell that as soon as I started to read it. The first couple of verses are basically – listen, I need your help; and save me, because I serve you – ie whining and sucking up. It continues in this same vein. The words of the KJV are vaguely familiar; I probably recited this in church.Gustav Holst set it to music in 1912, but there are lots of more recent versions on YouTube as well. Composers love sappy poetry.

# 87

Psalms 87 and 88 were written by the sons of Korah. The first few verses of #87 inspired the hymn Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken.

You’re gonna be sick of me by the time we get to the end of Psalms. It’s a trip down memory lane, but also healing and closure to find so many familiar songs, hymns, and phrases from my past in here. While I left the church more than 20 years ago, I have never left the music. For a long time this caused me great angst. I no longer believed, but I couldn’t let go. I tried to give up the music altogether but then I missed it. In the last few years, I have made peace with my past and come to appreciate and enjoy the traditional music I grew up with in the same way that I celebrate and enjoy Christmas without believing in a literal Jesus, either. And there are a lot more hymns coming up in the next few days.

#88

Here’s another lament from someone who’s lonely and depressed, and reaching out to an imaginary friend who does not respond: “Now hear my prayer; listen to my cry. For my life is full of troubles, and death draws near (v 2-3). Sad, really. But notice the death imagery in v 5 and 10-11. Death in the OT is viewed pretty much as final. There is little mention in the bible of heaven or an afterlife (or hell, for that matter) until later, mostly in the NT and especially in Revelation.

Psalm 89#89

This one is attributed to Ethan the Ezrahite. Wikipedia isn’t exactly sure who this guy was, but suggests that he may have been a cymbal player in King David’s court. It starts with a blatant falsehood in v 3-4: “The Lord said, “I have made a covenant with David, my chosen servant. I have sworn this oath to him: ‘I will establish your descendants as kings forever; they will sit on your throne from now until eternity.’” As the SAB points out, the Davidic line of kings ended with Zedekiah; there were none during the Babylonian captivity, and there are none today”. It continues on like this, praising Yahweh’s strength and power, and the line of David. This prophesy about the endless lineage is repeated in v 29 and 36. But then the author turns on god, accusing Yahweh of forsaking his people and allowing Israel to become disgraced. In v 47-48 we again hear about the finality of death. But note that when believers create memes negative or erroneous verses are never selected

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