Thursday, April 02, 2009

Psalm 81: A hedonist's Psalm

Aren't the Psalms a treasure trove. I love reading them because that's where i see myself so clearly in scripture. Not because i've got a King David complex, but because the Psalms are full of questions, frustrations and failures, with a few moments of joy and excitement peeking through. That's why i love the Psalms.

I also love seeing ideas that are bought to their fullness in the New Testament introduced in the Old, which is why i love Psalm 81, particularly the last seven verses.

God reveals Himself as the Lord who bought Israel out of Egypt. He is God, He is good. Surely Israel needs to gain his respect, needs to work hard to repay Him right? No. Verse 10 says, 'open your mouth wide and i will fill it.' That's it. That's what Israel needs to do. To be full we don't need to crawl up the Basilica steps on our knees, we don't need to fast to the point of emaciation. There's actually nothing we can do, except open our mouth. This id death to self reliance, death to works fulfillment. Open your mouth and the Lord will fill it.

There's the tragedy of the Old Testament in a nutshell. Instead of relying and trusting the Lord with open mouths, instead Israel followed foreign gos, Canaanite gods. Instead of following God, who would defeat their enemies, they followed gods that demanded child sacrifice. Why? Well why do we ignore the God who saved us and chase after gods that did not, will not. Sex, fame and fortune, more stuff...these things promise much, but why drink from the toilet when there are fresh streams of water?

But it's not just water. God will feed His people will fine wheat and honey from the rock. That's we open our mouths for, the best of the best. Christianity is hedonistic self denial. Deny yourself the things that you love that will destroy you, for what will give you life. Sin looks great, but it's sugar coated poison... Open your mouth and be fed with life.

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