Monday, August 26, 2002
The writer makes a good point. War vs. peace, physical safety vs. spiritual security, these are topics I personally would rather avoid. The reality of the situation is, as he points out, that the nations have been raging since the time this psalm was written, and show no sign of letting up. And since the Bible tells us that this world is sinful (John chapter 1, for example), chances are the fighting will continue into the future. But, as the writer also points out, even though Jesus said he didn't come to bring peace (Matthew 10:34), he is sometimes called the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). I'd like to add that throughout the epistles Paul exhorts the new Christians to be at peace and not to quarrel with one another. So, while it is necessary to defend our freedom and safety from time to time, it's important to remember that this is not part of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19) (that's Christianese for God's command to go out and tell the world about Jesus).
The first thing I thought of when I began reading this psalm was Rich Mullins' song, "While the Nations Rage." Here are the lyrics.
P.S. I'd like to apologize for playing "Bible Roulette" in this entry. I don't approve of pulling out random Bible verses to make a point, but I can assure you that all the verses I've mentioned here are just examples that illustrate themes which pervade the entire Book.
posted by Susanna King 11:11 PM
Tuesday, August 20, 2002
The writer's musings about St. Bernard were interesting, but with a passage that applies so well to the world today, I'm hesitant to dwell on 800-year-old history. In this psalm the psalmist is asking God for mercy from the world's scorn. "We have endured much ridicule from the proud, much contempt from the arrogant." [vs.4] How often have you just felt like giving up? I know there are times when I feel like I'm the punching bag for Christianity. All around me, in the media and in real life, the proud and the arrogant belittle my beliefs, their contempt leaving paper cuts on my faith. At the time, it's easy to brush off or forget, but it adds up. This psalm reminds me that I need to ask God for help with the small trials as well as the major ones.
posted by Susanna King 11:36 PM