Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Acrostics (3)

Psalm 34

What will I say of יְהוָה? What right have I to say anything? What you to listen? Can you hear or are you deaf?

A friend said to me - I have read the Greek - I have read Barth on Romans - and Paul has no reason to celebrate his statement about God shutting us up into disobedience and then having mercy. It is like a boy who catches a fly and tears off its wings and then says "Fly". It's the same Greek as the modern tongue - go stand in the corner. God creates stubbornness and then Paul celebrates mercy?

I am silenced. The letter with perhaps the greatest impact on the Western psyche put down by un nouveau Job.

No one has a chance here. Find your pleasure where you may, for you are a fly on a sweet sweaty soiled place - should be just about right for you. Forget Genesis 1. Creation is not good. You are the plaything of the Gods whether they 'are' or not. You are a speck on an ocean of randomness. Offal for awful. Buzz off before I remove your wings.

And as for the NT, why pay attention to any story of a disembodied Hellenist myth or a bitterly disappointed Semitic tradition? Bite the extreme - you are subject to war, dearth, age, ague, tyrannies, despair, law, chance and death - there are no imagined four corners for the angels' trumpets. There is no place for you to know the meat of God in the flesh - apart from your own fantasy.

So why did Job finally give in? And why did Paul believe his own rhetoric? Who would dare invite to taste and see that יְהוָה is good? Where is the substance of the name that we say we have trusted in?

Of David when he feigned madness in the face of Abimelek and he drove him away and he went
Alef. Any old glottal stop will do to begin.
I will bless יְהוָה at all times
continually his praise will be in my mouth
breath - my breath will glory in יְהוָה
the humble will hear and be glad
greatly magnify יְהוָה with me
and let us exalt his name together
What's this magnification? Who wants to be 'umble?
Would you be satisfied with being glad when your wings are dismembered?

determined I sought יְהוָה and he heard me
and from all my fears he delivered me
him they paid attention to and were radiant
and their faces were not embarrassed
How does he know about someone else's radiance?
Am I embarrassed or just honest? I am not heard.
I am not delivered. I am not radiant.
What moonshine are you on about?
zis poor one calls and יְהוָה hears
Don't use baby talk with me
and from all his distress he saves him
I tell you, I am beyond salvageable - where is the peace I know I want?
hovering, the angel of יְהוָה surrounds those who fear him and rescues them
Is it rescue I want? You do calm me a little - no risk - no life...
taste and see for יְהוָה is good
happy the mighty that will trust in him
Taste - the Eucharist in the Psalms - how did you do it?
ye his holy ones, fear יְהוָה for there is no lack to those fearing him
cubs - young lions want and are voracious but those seeking יְהוָה will not lack any good
Listen to me, children, come and I will teach you the fear of יְהוָה

Man - who is it desiring life, loving days, to see good
nip your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit
stay from evil and do good, seek peace and hunt for it

eyes, those of יְהוָה are on the righteous and his ears are on their cry for help
face, that of יְהוָה is against those doing evil to cut off their remembrance from the earth

tza! they cry out and יְהוָה hears and he rescues them from all their distress
quite near is יְהוָה to those broken of heart and he saves many a crushed spirit

righteous ones know many evils and from all of them יְהוָה will deliver him
sheltering all his bones so that not one of them will be broken
the wicked will be slain by their own evil and those hating the righteous will bear their guilt
יְהוָה redeems the life of his servants and all taking refuge in him will not bear their guilt

You don't really need a word from me.

No comments: