Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Psalmette

I'm exploring the psalms for the encouragement to "Be Still" and in the last post I quoted Psalm 46. Verse 11 is quoted often. "Be still" in the context of this psalm asks us to see the wonders of God. Stop making "much ado", the writer says. "Be still, then, and know that I am God."

There are a couple of other places where stillness is mentioned. One is in an itty bitty psalm, Psalm 131. The psalm is only 4 verses. It is not the shortest (Psalm 134 has only 2 verses!), but it's packed and a wonderful prayer to memorize. This is another psalm where every translation is slightly different and the feeling conveyed shifts with the words. This is a great psalm to read comparatively over several translations to glean the levels of meaning. I'm going to share the translation from Gary Chamberlain:
1 Lord, I do not intend to be haughty;
I do not want to aim too high.
2 I am not concerned with impressive things,
Or with problems unsuited to me.
3 Have I not calmed and stilled my inner self?
I rest on God, as an infant rests on its mother.
4 Israel, wait for the Lord,
From now and forever.
The Psalms, pages 166-7
Two things jump out at me. First, the second line of verse 2. Some writers say "things that are difficult" or "things that are too hard". But I like Chamberlain's interpretation. "I am not concerned...with problems unsuited to me." There is a great reassurance in that line. If something is "too difficult", as in some translations, I get the feeling that I'm incompetant, not good enough (my own insecurities tapped). However, in Chamberlain's revelation, I am suited to some activites, to solving some problems; for others I am not suited and there is no shame in that. "I rest on God..." Oh, how that phrase shimmers inside and calms me. Try that line for the meditation I shared last time. Yes, indeed, that will work.

And that my friends, is one awesome Psalmette. Blessings!

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