Psalm 21

Definitely reads like a sequel to yesterday’s psalm. 20: may he give you the desire of your heart 21: you have granted him his hearts desire. Etc. It is a celebration of thanks because the battle are won and the victories are over. He is enjoying a pinnacle of success and attributing it to god.

Its very simple, and it screws me up because it is so simple. I’ve grown up wary of prosperity doctrine, which pretty much teaches “trust God and you’ll have earthly riches”. It doesn’t work that way.

The old testament has a fairly shadowy theology of the afterlife, and they tended to think that way too, after all, their promised land was literally a land.

Something more theologically challenging is going in in psalms however, it’s just not normative. By saying “god blessed me with wealth and success, hooray”, is not necessarily saying god should or necessarily will bless you that way, simply that he has. A key is in the opening verse: “the king rejoices in your strength, how great is his joy in the victories you give”, it is a sing of gratitude and acknowledgment of blessing, not a rule of entitlement or expectation.

They are enjoying the moment. It’s a sort of spiritual mindfulness, of speaking to god in the present tense, always with immediacy. “God answered me, hooray, God has abandoned me, woe is me”.

They are the cries of a life lived moment to moment in relationship with god.

And it is incredibly important to do that. The world’s wealth and power remain concentrated in a few. I think that if they attributed their success to god in a way that involved moment to moment dialogue throughout their lives, it would have a dramatic effect on how they handled that responsibility.

Father its sometimes incomprehensible that you would be that involved. How? Why? Give me the faithfulness to treat you as my constant companion.

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