Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Psalm 6:1 (NLT)
O Lord, don't rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your rage.

The image of God rebuking us in anger is common in the Old Testament. This has caused people to think of the OT God as an "angry old man," and we can have difficulty reconciling that image with Jesus who began his ministry with these words: (Matthew 12:20)

"He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. ... "

I think we have to keep in mind that Jesus read these words from the book of Isaiah. They express the heart of the "old testament" god just as surely as they represent the heart of Jesus.

When attributing an angry temperament to God, I suspect we are reading our own failings and shortcomings into Him. Keep in mind that it was the people at Mt. Sinai who were afraid to go near to the mountain to meet with God, and so demanded a mediator.

This tells me that our dysfunctional relationship with God has always been related to our reluctance to trust Him, let down our fences and draw closer.

Thank God he never gives up. The phantasmagorical events woven through the conception, birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, demonstrate just how far God is willing to go to cross this gulf that we've created between us and Him.

We can read this sixth Psalm knowing that indeed... "The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord will answer" (has answered) "my prayer."

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