Wednesday, February 17, 2010

165: Coming Soon to a Church Near You, Ninja Pastors

Psalms 1-8
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! - Psalm 8:1

Well, this could be pretty boring. The Psalms don't seem to have a coherent story line. Who knows how interesting (or not) they might be. It looks like I'm going to be in Psalms for about a month.

I'll go Psalm by Psalm because they're all pretty much their own story.

Psalm 1: Don't be wicked, if you follow God you will be happy. Until he kills your family of course.

Psalm 2: The kings of the world don't obey God. But God laughs at them and terrifies them with his wrath.

Psalm 3 (A Psalm of David): David begging God to deliver him from his enemies. This was when he was fleeing from his son Absalom.

Psalm 4 (Another Psalm of David): David saying God has made him joyful.

Psalm 5 (David): David says God doesn't take pleasure in evil. God sure does a lot of things that seem evil, apparently he doesn't enjoy it.

Psalm 6 (David): David asking God not to rebuke him, and to spare him from his wrath.

Psalm 7 (David): David asks God to not spare his wrath from his enemies. Right, only spare your wrath if your wrath is directed at me.

Psalm 8 (David): David says God is majestic and glorious.

I'm already bored.

I tried to embed this video, but I failed. So go here, watch the video, and come back.

Wait, this is becoming a national movement? This should make religious debates far more interesting (terrifying). Something seems fundamentally wrong with saying "Fight for Jesus". As a side note, I find it hilarious (and a little like powerthirst) that his Church is called "EXTREME Ministries".

I don't have too much more to say about this, that news report was hilarious enough as it is.

(via ABC News)

1 comment:

  1. Bryan,

    The Psalms while not having a plot line as a narrative would does have a discernable structure and thematic content. Ezra probably put this structure in place for Israel’s worship after the exile. The structure has a clear—post exile emphasis to it. The Psalms are divided into 5 books (i.e. analogous to the five books of the Torah/Pentateuch)—Book 1 Pss 3-41, Book 2 Pss 42-72, Book 3 Pss 73-89, Book 4, Pss 90-106, Book 5 107-145. Each book ends with a doxology except the last book which omits the short doxology in favor of the final conclusion of extended praise (146-150) for the entire collection. Psalm 1 and 2 form an introduction to the collection which I will address in a moment.

    Books 1-3 center on the covenant with David—the anointed one, king, and “son of God”—and his struggle to establish the righteous reign of God in the land that extends to the nations. These books are filled with personal struggles and laments and failures but always turn to trust and praise in God. The end of book 3 becomes the darkest book (note Psalm 89) with an intense lament regarding the failure of the Davidic dynasty. The Psalmist of 89 ends up basically accusing God that His promises regarding a perpetual dynasty through David and a righteous reign through His anointed one, king, and son, have failed. Book 4 responds to the “failure” by refocusing hope on God’s kingship (Ps 93-100) and reminding the remnant of Israel of the plot line of redemptive history and God’s faithfulness (in other words God is not done yet!). Book 5 develops the themes of God’s faithfulness, trusting God, and developing wisdom while waiting, and continues to feature a “righteous Davidide” as a model of godliness (Pss 108-110, 132, 138-145).

    Now to the introduction of the collection…

    Psalm 1 as the introduction to the entire collection declares that a man is blessed who meditates in the Lord’s “law/instruction/torah” (1:2) which I believe is the “instruction” contained in this collection of Psalms. Since the final editing of this collection is post-exilic, it appears to the remnant of Israel that the Davidic dynasty/covenant had indeed failed. However, the message is one of assurance that the blessed, stable man (1:3) would be the one who trusts in the Lord and waits upon Him to see what happens with His people in those who are not his people (4, 5, 6).

    Psalm 2 begins to reveal a glimpse of the instruction/guidance for His people. God indeed reigns and will reign through an “anointed one,” “a king”, “a son”, whom He designates. This Psalm most likely is a reference to David and the covenant made with David. But its placement at the beginning of the collection of the Psalms indicates a paradigm/pattern of God’s plan. God reigns indeed, and He will bring about His reign upon earth through an “anointed one,” “king,” “son.” “Blessed” is the man who takes refuge in this “anointed one” (in Hebrew, the Messiah). Here in Psalm 2 the three concepts of King, Anointed (Messiah), and Son of God are used together. Psalm 2 ends by repeating what Psalm 1 began with-- “Blessed is the man.” Thus Psalm 1 & 2 are tied together and form the introduction to the themes in the collection of the Psalms that wrestle with “The Kingdom of God.”



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