Morning Thanks

Garrison Keillor once said we'd all be better off if we all started the day by giving thanks for just one thing. I'll try.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sunday Morning Meds--"our Lord"

“Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth.”
Psalm 8:1

So what do you think?  Does David use the appositive of the first verse of Psalm 8 to praise God or does he put those two words into the line to recommit and even reassure himself?  He didn’t have to add the line, of course.  This psalm would have resounded through the ages even if he hadn’t added, “our Lord.”  So why did he?

It may be a kind of testimony.  It may be that he added it because he wanted the Lord God Almighty, whom he is addressing, to know that the melody rising from the wilderness of earth was his own, someone who worshipped Him, and Him alone.  David may have wanted to reassure God of his (David’s own) love.  That would be right and fitting and noble.
On the other hand, “our Lord” may be a kind of ecstatic expletive.  He just couldn’t help himself.  When he considered the majesty of God in every last corner of the world, he was—as I can be by the dawn—awestruck by God’s unfathomable non-creatureliness (now there’s a mouthful), by the fact that God is, well, God.  Astonished by his presence, he can’t help himself.  He just has to get it in there—“this God of heavens and earth and seas and skies is (take a deep breath) actually our God.”  That kind of thing would be less right and fitting and noble than flat-out human.  Maybe that’s why I like the second option.

Whatever the case for the appositive, we’ve arrived at the kind of Davidic line that has laid itself foundationally beneath life as we know it on this planet.  If it’s not in Bartlett’s Quotations, it certainly should be.  There may be others on your or my Top Ten Psalms list, but this line and this psalm, Psalm 8, is a real keeper.
The KJV has “excellent” where the NIV has “majestic.”  Both seem archaic in a culture built, at least in part, on equality.  Eugene Peterson says, “Your name is a household word,” which is far more democratic; but then, Tide is also a household word.  I’m not sure we own language sufficient to modify God Almighty.

What captures me here is the little word all.  If the idea of God’s name being excellent in every square inch of the world is not just hyperbole, then we have to believe it shines divinely in Al Quida terrorist camps, in Thai brothels, in crack houses and meth labs across America, in each of our darkest corners.  That seems a stretch.

But not impossible.  As our preacher said last Sunday, it’s interesting to imagine that single lamb who created all the fuss by wandering from the ninety-and-nine, that lamb the Good Shepherd finds and carries home on his shoulders, that straying lamb as someone like, say, Osama bin Laden.  Osama’s face on that lamb, if we believe the parable, only seems preposterous.     

My mind isn’t good at stretching cosmically.  What I know better is this: even in our own dark corners, even in our worst desert moments, He is there in all his majesty, even when we swear God is not in the building.  That’s just plain excellent.

Jesus Christ is one divine bounty hunter.  He stalks us until he strikes, not because of some price on your head or mine, but because the Lord, our Lord, loves us.

And for that, let his name be glorified from every last dark corner of the planet.  The fact is, he is a household word.  His excellence makes our best look dingy; his majesty makes royalty look bedraggled. 

And he is, as David can’t help singing, ours.


Anonymous said...

A choice pic for that particular Psalm. I was there last week for a time of inspiration and petition. it's my mtn to go to that I may seek the Lord and even talk to tourist.

Michelle said...

A wonderful post for this Sunday morning and a fantastic picture to go with.

Anonymous said...

I have to comment on yesterdays comment, surprising no one else did??? Why do people say that? Do you know what that phrase is referring to? KARMA..."KARMA" is a concept from eatern mysticism: hinduism, buddhism, etc. In these forms of pagan mysticism it is thaught that 'karma' is an imperonal force that controls the universe. A person develops "good karma" or "bad karma"through their actions. When a person performs 'good' deeds it builds up good karma and that goodness will be returned to them by future good that comes into their lives. Andif the do bad, vica-versa. Karma is an impersonal force, meaning it is not a person. IT is like 'the FORCE' in star wars.What paganism is saying is that the universe is controlled , not by a personal GOD, but by a 'FORCE." a life force. A karmic life force that is in everything and through everthing a d is in you and me, so that 'god' is everywherein everything adn in you and that you and I have divinity within us..god is within, in a sense we are god...DOES THIS SOUND LIKE THE SERPENT IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN? It should because it comes from the same source as the occult 'wisdom' of the serpent in GEN 3:5. Those who believe in karma also usually believe in reincarnation. I'm not going to go into that right now, let's just let scripture say if for us,..Hebrews 9:27..."and as it is appointed to DIE ONCE, but after this the judgement," Some people may try and justify karma frommthe Bible by saying "a person reaps what he sows." However,those words are found in GAL. 6:7-8..." DO NOT BE DECIEVED, GOD IS NOT MOCKED...." look it up yourself, don't take my word for it...THese verses do not justify karma or the phrase, 'what goes around....' These verses are not about an impersonal force. THese verses are about a GOD of holiness who is a righteous judge. IT's not about a god who mindlessly gives an effect for a certain cause.In the context of the whole Bible, this is about GOD who is in control, who is sovereign, who can do whatever he wants...and he wants to be just and holy and righteous. AND we ought to be eternally grateful for, is that GOD is both powerful and he LOVES us! which is why we have ROmans 8:28....Referring to the comment yesterday, not sure what you have to smoke in your peace pipe, but I recommend you reject that phrase and reject karma, trust in Romans 8:28. To equate the sand creek massacre to what happened in Denver the past few days is totally ridiculous.MAY THE REAL FORCE be with you.