Friday, April 18, 2014

Psalmody Pwhat Day Is It Again: Psalm 19

[Drafter's Note: Why do I go weeks or months with no post, and then twice in two hours? ...Do other writers not sway to a standard never-rains-but-it-pour drumbeat?? I'm confused...]

My sister-coz and I are competing for Most Sporadic Blogger of 2014. Your votes are appreciated.

I'm going to "catch up" tonight--which is to say, I think this will bring both of us up two 10 days behind, which is (in case you were wondering) that same as being caught up, because who is to say that Palm Sunday was a Psalmist's day off??


Psalm 19 (read it here)

"Who can understand his errors? Cleanse thou me from secret faults."    v. 12, KJV

You're joking, right? SECRET faults?? All the sludge in my soul, all the boarded-up windows and locked drawers, those are only what's on file? There's more??

I know this is truth--a glimpse into that dark tells me there are hallways that resist even the intrepid and myriad angles and dead ends defy the stubborn--but it's no less defeating. "I am a hopeless case," sayeth the psalmist. "Send help!"

But even in the same thought, a moment earlier, the laws (what King James' friends termed the judgment) of the Lord is "sweeter than honey, even honey dripping off the comb" (v. 10). This is an image that works for me--my uncle had a little bee colony for a while, and the geniuses of Mssrs. Reese, Hershey, Whitman, and Stover have never some close to that goodness. So how is law, how is judgment, so good as that? Do I crave law like I crave Ben & Jerry's? Do I get in the mood for discipline that way I could go for a frozen Take 5 right now?

But "the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul" (v. 7)*. This is a process, and each season where the discipline of God smarts hard across me, I appreciate it more. Rarely at the time. And not, I would say, in the same way as I appreciate my mom's snickerdoodles straight from the oven. But as I dwell on this, I take our psalmist's point. Even the things that are hard, painful, unending processes with God have a sweetness to them, and maybe it's just the knowing that it's not in vain, that it is for our good, that it is covered by and made of his love and so--to borrow from a future psalmody--while the pain lasts for a night, joy comes with the morning.

Let the words of my mouth,
and the meditation of my heart,
be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord,
my strength and my redeemer.
v. 14

* Am I driving someone crazy by walking backwards through this psalm? Certainly. Is that someone me? Likely.

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