Sunday, March 14, 2010

190: God, The Slave Master

Psalm 120-132
As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he shows us his mercy. - Psalm 123:2

All the psalms today are "songs of ascent". Whatever that means.

Psalm 120 (anonymous): This man bemoans the fact that he lives among people who love war. Finally, something in the bible I can relate to.

Psalm 121 (anonymous): God will keep you from all harm. Unless you're Job. So much in the bible has huge cognitive dissonance with Job.

Psalm 122 (David): David prays for peace in Jerusalem. Maybe if David didn't wage so much war there would be a chance for peace.

Psalm 123 (anonymous): This person lifts his eyes up to God. He says that he lifts his eyes up to God just as a slave looks up to his master. What? That's a terrible metaphor. We're supposed to look up to God as the person who forces us to do what he says, and punishes us horribly if we do otherwise? Oh wait, that's a great metaphor.

Psalm 124 (David): If God weren't on Israel's side, then they would have been taken over by their enemies, says David. Too bad Israel does eventually get taken over by the Babylonians. I guess God isn't really on Israel's side.

Psalm 125 (anonymous): Anonymous prays that God will do good to the good people, and banish the people who were bad. Yes, that would be great if God ever did that.

Psalm 126 (anonymous): Everyone was happy when they got to come back to Zion. Anonymous prays that Israel's fortune will be restored by God.

Psalm 127 (Solomon): Unless God builds a house, it is built in vain. Sorry all you construction workers out there, you're actually not doing anything useful. If you're standing watch over a city, you are also useless. Apparently only God can watch over cities and build buildings. I'll assume this is some strange metaphor since it makes no sense.

Psalm 128 (anonymous): Those who fear God are blessed. Thanks for letting us know, anonymous, we've never heard that one before.

Psalm 129 (anonymous): Israel is being oppressed (what else is new?). This writer claims that God has cut the cords of their oppression. Great, now they can live under God's oppressive law instead of their enemies' oppressive law.

Psalm 130 (anonymous): God forgives sins. I guess not all sins though, otherwise the whole killing Jesus thing seems kind of silly.

Psalm 131 (David): David claims that he isn't prideful any more. Sure you're not David.

Psalm 132 (anonymous): This anonymous author tries to convince God to remember David and do what he says. In fact, this guy spends most of the chapter telling God to do what David says. Nice try David! You thought you could call yourself anonymous and slip one past God did you?

Some people give up sweets or coke for lent. Evelyn Boyd decided to give up food, period. Spoiler alert: if you don't eat food you will eventually die.

Evelyn asked her husband and children to leave her alone for weeks on end while she fasted and prayed. This wasn't the first time she had done this, but it was the last. After several weeks with no contact, Evelyn's husband (a Pentecostal preacher) forced his way in the room and found his wife dead.

The husband decided not to check on his wife because he wanted to "respect her privacy". Uh, there's a difference between respecting your wife's privacy and letting her starve herself to death. Is God going to be upset with you if someone checks on you once a day to make sure you're not having a serious problem (death, for example)? At some point, someone needed to tell this lady no. If someone's doing something as obviously dangerous as not eating for weeks, someone needs to step up and tell them that what they're doing is stupid.

The exact cause of death is not yet known. I wonder if it has something to do with the whole, locking herself in a room and not eating thing.

(via The Associated Press)


  1. Jesus fasted for 40 days, so I bet this woman thought she could too. There has to be a point where common sense kicks in, but religious fundies seem to outlaw it entirely.

  2. Jesus *allegedly^ fasted for fourty days.... I'm willing to bet that if there was any basis of fact on that myth that it's wildly exaggerated.

  3. More Xians killing themselves or their progeny in stupid ways. There should be a special category in the Darwin Awards.



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