Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Psalms of David -- Psalm 27

So, yeah...four months since the last one...which means I'll probably get done with this in, oh, a decade or so...

"Unto Thee will I cry, O LORD my rock; be not silent to me: lest, if Thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit" (v. 1).

"The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise Him" (v 7).

What strikes me here is David's childlikeness. His total dependence upon and trust in his God and Father in word, deed, and thought. Of course he's as good as dead if God truly is silent to his plight. Of course he his helped when he puts his trust in the LORD. Of course men are going to be swallowed up alive and consumed if they trust in anyone or anything that is not God. The prophet revels in this salvific simplicity, the same one I see in the eyes of a certain 13-month old I live with. She gets it, as does the Prophet. So what's my deal?

Let's see...(flips through Fr. Patrick's book to the notes made on this psalm, then chuckles)...heh...funny how thoughts can stay the same over the months...

Taking the psalm from a christic point of view (which is the point of Fr.'s book and, indeed, is the ultimate point of all Scripture), those two verses take on a new meaning, particularly when read in the Greek version of the Old Testament (referred to as the Septuagint, or abbreviated LXX). Verse seven, instead of saying, "my heart greatly rejoiceth" as the Hebrew does, says "my flesh took life again" or "flourished again." No wonder this psalm is chanted in the Eastern Orthodox Church early on Sunday mornings, the day of resurrection; our Incarnate God did not experience the silence of the Father when He went down into the pit, but showed Himself to be the very and final Word which bestowed life upon all of us who were in the tomb of rotten humanity. Therefore His flesh took life again, as will ours as well. May our hearts trust in Him and thereby rise to glory and not to damnation.

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