Thursday, October 25, 2018
Scratching the Surface of the Psalms #29
Scratching the Surface of the Psalms
A young woman was becoming increasingly exasperated by her boyfriend’s inability to articulate his affection for her.
So while listening to lovebirds singing to each other, she asked, “Do you know what they’re saying to each other?”
“No,” he said.
They’re saying, “I love you!”
After several minutes of silence, she asked, “Do you know what they’re saying to each other now?”
“No,” he said.
She blurted, “Tell me!”
Have you ever loved someone who didn’t love you back?
Have you ever wanted to hug someone – I mean really hug ‘em with breath-taking-can’t-get-close-enough warmth and strength – pero…?
Have you ever cared for someone from the deepest recesses of your essence buuuuuuut they did not respond likewise?
Healthy people want romance.
Healthy people romance.
That’s how God made us.
Paul said a healthy couple “desires” each other.
It’s not healthy not to “desire” your lifemate and soulmate otherwise known as spouse.
That’s what the Bible says; and the Author knows because He made the recipients.
Read Solomon’s Song of Songs.
It’s about romance.
It’s pretty intense…graphic.
Toes curl when reading it.
That should get some of yu’uns into the Bible!
Definitely, it’s about romantic love between a woman and man.
What God has joined together wants to be together.
It’s also a metaphor for the kind of affection that God wants to share with us.
He wants us to be close to Him.
He wants us to hold tightly to Him.
Squeeze with affection.
He wants our relationship to be punctuated by bliss and mist and joyously and serenely singing poetry.
He wants us to worship Him.
Like a totally devoted lover, He yearns to hear, “I worship You!”
While I would never be as graphic in writing or speaking as Solomon in Song of Songs – I’ll bet some can’t wait to get to it now! – the parallel goes like this: “If you really love me/Me, you will show me/Me.”
Hold your breath and let’s take this to the next step of authentic affection: “If you really love me/Me, you will want to go with me/Me to the emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and physical mountaintop of our mutual affection and allegiance.”
Are you getting the picture?
Psalm 29 is about turning up the heat in our relationship with God.
It’s about romancing God.
It’s about being so much in love with God that we can’t get enough of Him and desire to be with Him and never lose the determination to go the distance with Him.
We want to round the bases and go home with Him.
In short, Psalm 29 is about worshipping God.
“Give the Lord,” David leads us in a worship song, “the glory due His name. Worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness.”
Whether it’s Hebrew or Greek, glory means gravity, weight, importance, allegiance, affection, and cross-any-river-climb-any-mountain dedicated determination to stay closer than that first slow dance in the high school gym.
Glory to God!
Glory to God above all!
Glory to God alone!
David urges worship: “Give the Lord the glory due His name.”
In other words, worship is indispensably integral to the integrity and authenticity and permanence of the relationship.
Worship proves the relationship.
Like a marriage that fails because it loses its emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and physical intimacies, faith not shown/expressed/experienced in regular – let’s say compelled or irresistible or overwhelmingly desired and dedicated – worship becomes stale, lukewarm, and repulsive to nauseating.
Read more about that in Revelation 2-3.
Like a marriage that loses intimacies, faith without worship is soon detoured, distracted, distancing, adulterous, divorcing, and dead.
The parallel is unmistakable.
Marriage without intimacies is dissatisfying, vulnerable, and doomed.
Faith without worship is dissatisfying, vulnerable, and doomed.
Have you ever noticed the revolving door reality of just about all churches?
People come and go.
Yeah, many of ‘em will come up with reasons – good, bad, lame, contrived, auto-suggested, whatever - for their coming and going and church hopping and the like.
Regardless of the franchise, it’s not uncommon.
People are fickle, fragile, fallible, and fallen.
Too many folks go in and out of churches to be entertained or enabled or tickled.
The ones who stick and stay and survive and thrive have come to worship.
They haven’t come to be entertained or enabled or tickled or, as Dylan sang, find some unreliable priest who will be “an errand boy for their wandering desires.”
They have come and not gone to pay highest affection and allegiance to the One who made ‘em, saved ‘em, and sustains ‘em in time and forever.
They are the ones who “give the Lord the glory due His name and worship Him in the splendor of His holiness.”
I will never forget talking to Father Theodore about Brother Daniel.
It was over 35 years ago at Assumption Abbey in Ava, Missouri.
Anyway, Brother Daniel taught the best method of Bible study to me.
When I asked how he knew so much more about the Bible than me with his limited education compared to my arrogant ivy league and global academic credentials, he said, “I ask God what it means.”
Consequently, I was stunned when arriving at a subsequent visit to the Trappist monastery upon discovering Brother Daniel had left the monastery and married a dental assistant.
When I expressed my shock to Father Theodore, he said with a smile punctuated by peace, “Daniel was only here for 30 years. Obviously, he was never really called to be a monk.”
Obviously, some people who come and go were never really…
Or as Paul explained, “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. Love never ends.”
And now you know why some people come and go and others come and stay.
Blessings and Love!
Shatter the sound of silence!
Wake up! Look up! Stand up! Speak up! Act up for Jesus!
Salt! Shine! Leavenate!