Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Second Week of Advent: Tuesday

Today, we read a portion of Psalm 43. Most Bible scholars consider Psalms 42-43 to be a single psalm. Note the repeated refrain in 42.5, 11; and 43.5. This is a psalm of exile. The unnamed psalmist is far from his home and from the worship he loves at God's house. He finds himself among those who taunt his faith and wonder mockingly why God won't come to help him. In his distress, the psalmist tries to stir up his own spirit to remember that the living God is real. He is his true hope, and will be his help and the restorer of his joy.

Psalm 43.3-5 concludes this psalm with an appeal for the light of God's truth to shine in the darkness, to lead us home again.
O send out your light and your truth;
let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy hill
and to your dwelling.
Then I will go to the altar of God,
to God my exceeding joy;
and I will praise you with the harp,
O God, my God.
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my help and my God.
O come, O come Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

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