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Archive for July 16th, 2016


Psalm 47: Applause!applause-stop-motion-w350x222

Saturday, July 16, 2016

This ancient hymn is replete with images of strength; God is mighty, subdues all, sets us at the head of the line! Who could not want to follow a God like this? There must be a catch, we say to ourselves. Perhaps there is.

What is the real cost of following God who subjects all to one will? And are we ready to pay the full price? Are we willing to applause this one at any cost to ourselves? In the New Testament Jesus more fully explains the living God.

Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye. (Matthew 7:5) Is this a rebuke we can celebrate in ourselves?

I’ll say it again–it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!” (Matthew 19:24) Is this a thinking we can cheer?

But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! (Matthew 5:44) Is this a command we can follow?

The powerful, Old Testament Yahweh becomes the thoughtful, meek Jesus who speaks and heals with authority. When we say we want to follow God, what is our image? Whom do we obey? Which version of power do we choose to worship? And whom do we praise?

Tomorrow, spiritual maturity.

When we compare varying translations of these verses, we being to understand their impact on our lives. We begin to see what it is we applaud . . . and why.

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