Thursday, December 4, 2008

The First Week of Advent: Thursday

Psalm 7 is today's passage from The Divine Hours for Vespers. The majority of psalms in Books I-II of the Book of Psalms (Psalms 1-41/42-72) have David's name attached to them. Since Psalm 2 identifies the main message of the Book of Psalms as God reigning through his chosen King (Messiah), we discover in reading the first two books that David is set forth as the ideal king, the model for the final King to come.

In Psalm 7, as in many other psalms, we learn some interesting characteristics of this king, the circumstances of his life, his trust in God, and his ultimate vindication by God's righteous judgment.
O Lord my God, in you I take refuge;
save me from all my pursuers, and deliver me,
or like a lion they will tear me apart;
they will drag me away, with no one to rescue.
O Lord my God, if I have done this,
if there is wrong in my hands,
if I have repaid my ally with harm
or plundered my foe without cause,
then let the enemy pursue and overtake me,
trample my life to the ground,
and lay my soul in the dust.
Rise up, O Lord, in your anger;
lift yourself up against the fury of my enemies;
awake, O my God; you have appointed a judgement.
Let the assembly of the peoples be gathered around you,
and over it take your seat on high.
Lord judges the peoples;
judge me, O
Lord, according to my righteousness
and according to the integrity that is in me.
O let the evil of the wicked come to an end,
but establish the righteous,
you who test the minds and hearts,
O righteous God.
God is my shield,
who saves the upright in heart.
God is a righteous judge,
and a God who has indignation every day.
If one does not repent, God will whet his sword;
he has bent and strung his bow;
he has prepared his deadly weapons,
making his arrows fiery shafts.
See how they conceive evil,
and are pregnant with mischief,
and bring forth lies.
They make a pit, digging it out,
and fall into the hole that they have made.
Their mischief returns upon their own heads,
and on their own heads their violence descends.
I will give to the
Lord the thanks due to his righteousness,
and sing praise to the name of the
Lord, the Most High.
At his first Advent, the King came into a world which opposed and pursued him. Though innocent, they surrounded him like lions and dragged him away to the cross. In the end, however, God proved to be his shield; he saved the upright in heart and raised him up to reign. He brought the evil of the wicked to an end and established the Righteous One.

Still, we pray with him for the consummation of his righteous reign. Still, we await the day when the peoples will be gathered before him for a final accounting and the full establishment of justice and peace. And as we wait, we live under his reign and promote his purposes.

This is Advent.

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