Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Psalm 73

I like to think of myself as on a spiritual plateau, even though I know our spiritual life is a river: you're either paddling upstream or lazily floating down. It's like staring at a water bottle when you've just chugged one. It's not like you don't like water; you're just not thirsty. I feel like there are so many things I already know to work on that reading the Bible would just throw another 20 things on the pile that already feels impossible. I feel like the typical teenage "question everything" hit me kinda late, and now I want to know just why I do what I do, why I think what I think, why my first answers are my first answers. I've read my Bible through 5 or 6 times now, I think. And yet, when I read Psalm 73 for the first time in a while a month ago or so, it felt like the first time reading it EVER. It's like Asaph (or whoever wrote that one in particular) crawled into my heart and did a sketch of what he found. I don't need proof that the Bible is a living book. It's intensely personal and definitely not out-dated! Here is Psalm 73 in its King James glory. It's ugly, it's exposed, it's truthful, it's victorious, it's hopeful. Someone poured out his heart thousands of years ago and this morning I'm logging in to a computer, and copy-pasting to my blog. It's still alive, and so is the God Asaph prayed to.

     Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart. But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm. They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men. Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment. Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish. They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily. They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth. 
     Therefore his people return hither: and waters of a full cup are wrung out to them. And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High? Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches.
       Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency. For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning. If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children. When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end. 
     Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction. How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors. As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image. 
     Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins. So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee. Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. 
     Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee. But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.

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