The Simple Ruminations of an Irishman on the Psalter

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Psalm 21 (g)

8 All they that saw me have laughed me to scorn: they have spoken with the lips, and wagged the head.

9 He hoped in the Lord, let him deliver him: let him save him, seeing he delighteth in him.

Here we have the despicable attitude of all those who surround Jesus. Jesus said nothing. Nothing could be said. They did not deserve his words. Therefore, silent he kept.

10 For thou art he that hast drawn me out of the womb: my hope from the breasts of my mother.

11 I was cast upon thee from the womb. From my mother's womb thou art my God,

Most translations render the word “for” as “yet.” The Word Biblical Commentary completely leaves out the word “but” or “yet.” In the WBC, the sentence reads: “you are he that hast drawn me out…” In my opinion, the verse is trying to convey the idea that “even though this is happening to me, I trust in you. It is the most natural thing for me to do. Because that is what I have always done, from the time of my infancy. I've always been trusting in God.”

12 Depart not from me. For tribulation is very near: for there is none to help me.

Even though David/Jesus asked God in verse 1 “why have you forsaken me?” here David/Jesus asks God not to depart from him. How can this be? Is David contradicting himself? Certainly not! There is therefore, a sense in which God is with David/Jesus, even though, by all *appearances* he is not with him. But that is the point—God had abandoned Jesus only by outward appearances. This verse then, seems to destroy the Calvinist notion that God completely turned his back on Jesus as he was dying on the Cross. The Calvinist notion is that Jesus actually became sinful with mankind’s sins as he was dying on the Cross and that God punished Jesus for the sins of mankind instead of punishing mankind. But, this cannot be. Jesus was a “Spotless Lamb.” In the Old Testament, only spotless lambs could qualify to make up for sin. How could a spotted lamb make up for sin? Jesus—God could never be sinful.

Jesus’ prayer is for God not to depart from him. And God did not depart from Jesus. Jesus is saying to God: “don’t depart from me because I have no one else to help me.” The point is, at a time when everyone else had abandoned him—even his own friends, the one person who did not abandon Jesus was God, the faithful one. Jesus’ own disciples (save John) abandoned him as he was being scourged and beaten.


At 9:09 PM, Blogger Michael de Los Estados Unidos said...

Indeed, Irishman, God is with us all. He shall not abandon us even in the darkest of times. We must do what is right in the eyes of God even though the outside world will hate us and marginalize themselves from us. The Da Vinci Code will attempt to rally the forces of heresey and darkness against us and even then God will not forsake us. But before they hate us, they will have hated Christ first.

At 4:47 PM, Blogger Violets4Ophelia said...

For the LORD your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your forefathers, which he confirmed to them by oath. Deuteronomy 4:31 (New International Version)

I agree completely. My family suffered from a tragedy last year and I am closer to God now more than ever. Something has been bothering me though. How come, since God never abandons us and always forgives us, there is Hell? I would think that God would not allow our souls to be tortured so. Especially recalling Lucia's vision from Our Lady of Fatima. What then? Would God subject us to the eternal flames? Or is there possibly a place in Purgatory that is so far from Heaven, you may never reach the pearly gates and our Lord before the end of time?


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