It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Praying for Protection and Connection, a Reflection on Psalm 17:1-7, 15

We read the account in Genesis of Jacob's wrestling match with a man. Or was his opponent God?

The lectionary response to this passage is a portion of Psalm 17.  We can see several connections between the two readings; e.g. seeing the face of God, Genesis 32:30 and Psalm 17:15.

The psalmist asserts innocence, innocence in every word and deed. Not many of us can honestly pray this part. Nor do we assert that Jacob could either.

But, moving to verse 6, we can find words that we can use as our own:
I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me, hear my words.
 The words that the psalmist wants to hear are a plea for protection:
Wondrously show your steadfast love, O savior of those who seek refuge from the adversaries at your right hand.
Depending more on the history of what God has done than on the history of what the one making the prayer has done, the psalm concludes with these confident words:
As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake I shall be satisfied, beholding your likeness.

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