procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Psalm 67 Chiasm

No apologies here.
well maybe a little one, but not really - i've been trying to memorise some scripture and finding patterns makes it so much easier (especially considering the person i'm memorising them with is so much better than me at it - any hook is a good hook!)

to the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. a psalm. a song.

A   May God be gracious to us and bless us
    and make his face to shine upon us,   Selah
  B   that your way may be known on earth,
      your saving power among all nations.

    C   Let the peoples praise you, O God;
        let all the peoples praise you!

      D   Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
          E   for you judge the peoples with equity
      D'   and guide the nations upon earth.   Selah

    C'   Let the peoples praise you, O God;
        let all the peoples praise you!

  B'   The earth has yielded its increase;
      God, our God, shall bless us.
A'   God shall bless us;
    let all the ends of the earth fear him!

my brief reflections from the structure (mind you, i think 3rd year is when we get into Hebrew poetry!) are:

  • there seems to be something going on with peoples and nations, with the nations and the earth being linked, but whether a contrast is being drawn between the nations and the peoples, i'm not sure. it could be an in-out-in-out thing, us, everyone, us, everyone...

  • i wonder whether A' and B' should be swapped, in that A is about general blessings, as is B'; whereas B and A' is about the knowing God's character in fearing the one with power of salvation

  • the above point then brings us to the centre, for you judge the peoples with equity, that is, salvation, judgment and fear are linked.

  • eschatalogically speaking, the linking of a prosperous earth and a just, theocratic society is interesting. we distance ourselves from the prosperity gospel, yet want to be following in Wilberforce's (and uncountable others') footsteps in bringing about justice in this world, before Christ's return. is this psalm saying that we should long for justice in the same way as we long for a prosperous earth - that is, brought in by God, in his timing, in his messiah? why are we happy for the disconnect (ie pursuing one but not the other), why do we rail against those who seek both (ie those prosperity types)?

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