Psalm 39:12 “Hear my prayer, Yahveh, and listen to my cry for help; do not be silent at my tears. You see, I am here with you as an alien, a temporary resident like all my ancestors.
Psalm 39:13 Turn your angry gaze from me so that I may be cheered up before I die and am gone.”1
challenging modern mantras
There is something about psalms like this that stretch the boundaries of popular religious attitudes about God and humanity. It does not deny the modern mantra that “God is good all the time,” but it challenges the notion that God’s goodness reflects itself in kindness toward his people all the time. David was one of God’s people, and yet he felt the pressure of God’s angry gaze. He was bold enough to speak to God, but also felt the fearful abandonment of God’s silence toward him.
David also did not hold on to some pagan notion that his life would continue forever no matter what. He felt that if God did not turn his angry gaze he would die in disgrace and be gone. These are not the words of someone who believed he had an immortal soul.
What are the mantras you live by? Are they challenged by what the Bible actually says? Keep reading, and don’t be afraid to correct yourself and believe what is actually written.
1subscription: For the choir director.