Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
Poetry is difficult. It always stretches me, if I spend enough time to try understanding and appreciating it. A few years ago I had a brief conversation with a budding English scholar who was the president of a collegiate poetry club. She told me that everyone concentrated on free verse these days because historic poetic forms were too restrictive. Nobody could express things in poetry if meter and rhyme were required. These were sad words. Hopefully the attitude will shift soon and poets will do the hard work of their craft.
Why do I mention this? When reading Psalm 27:1-9 one verse leapt out at me. It's about the middle of our reading, in verse five. Here, the Psalmist uses three parallel statements, breaking the flow of doublets. This is the central idea, and it draws our attention b its length. The third unit, "he will lift me high upon a rock," hits us like a brick, or maybe a stone.
God hides me. He conceals me. He lifts me up. But isn't that the opposite? What's it doing there? God lifts His people out of the fray. He places them in a position where they can be seen, but where they cannot be overcome. How did we get there? Not by our work, but by His.
This is a transition point in the Psalm. Before this verse, we are under attack. We are beseiged, and our desire is to escape from war and strife. We want to be in God's house, obscure, and rescued from attack. Afterward, we sing freely to God, in His presence.
When God in Christ covers us with His love, we are taken to a place of safety and peace. We find we are His children and He is our God. We are exalted for the express purpose of giving Him glory. This is the center of the Psalm, and the center of the Christian life.
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