Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Sunday Sermonette: The Divine Right of Kings

Psalm 61 implies that God will always protect and reward those who are faithful to him. Of course we know that isn't so. Then we get two psalms, also attributed to David, and all implying, in one way or another, that David is chosen of God -- to be an enemy of David is to be an enemy of God, and vice versa. Not to worry, though, God is going to come through and destroy David's enemies, who are by definition unrighteous. This was the common ideological basis of nations in that time -- an alliance between a priestly caste and warrior kings, with the king ruling by divine sanction. It is very weird that a substantial part of the U.S. population today yesarns to restore that system.

Jeduthun is the name of a music master David appointed. Of course this was likely composed long after the purported time of David.

To the choirmaster: according to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.

62 For God alone my soul waits in silence;
    from him comes my salvation.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress; I shall not be greatly moved.

How long will you set upon a man
    to shatter him, all of you,
    like a leaning wall, a tottering fence?
They only plan to thrust him down from his eminence.
    They take pleasure in falsehood.
They bless with their mouths,
    but inwardly they curse.Selah

For God alone my soul waits in silence,
    for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my deliverance and my honor;
    my mighty rock, my refuge is God.

Trust in him at all times, O people;
    pour out your heart before him;
    God is a refuge for us.Selah

Men of low estate are but a breath,
    men of high estate are a delusion;
in the balances they go up;
    they are together lighter than a breath.
10 Put no confidence in extortion,
    set no vain hopes on robbery;
    if riches increase, set not your heart on them.

11 Once God has spoken;
    twice have I heard this:
that power belongs to God;
12     and that to thee, O Lord, belongs steadfast love.
For thou dost requite a man
    according to his work.


A Psalm of David, when he was in the Wilderness of Judah.

63 O God, thou art my God, I seek thee,
    my soul thirsts for thee;
my flesh faints for thee,
    as in a dry and weary land where no water is.
So I have looked upon thee in the sanctuary,
    beholding thy power and glory.
Because thy steadfast love is better than life,
    my lips will praise thee.
So I will bless thee as long as I live;
    I will lift up my hands and call on thy name.

My soul is feasted as with marrow and fat,
    and my mouth praises thee with joyful lips,
when I think of thee upon my bed,
    and meditate on thee in the watches of the night;
for thou hast been my help,
    and in the shadow of thy wings I sing for joy.
My soul clings to thee;
    thy right hand upholds me.

But those who seek to destroy my life
    shall go down into the depths of the earth;
10 they shall be given over to the power of the sword,
    they shall be prey for jackals.
11 But the king shall rejoice in God;
    all who swear by him shall glory;
    for the mouths of liars will be stopped.


To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

64 Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint;
    preserve my life from dread of the enemy,
hide me from the secret plots of the wicked,
    from the scheming of evildoers,
who whet their tongues like swords,
    who aim bitter words like arrows,
shooting from ambush at the blameless,
    shooting at him suddenly and without fear.
They hold fast to their evil purpose;
    they talk of laying snares secretly,
thinking, “Who can see us?[a]
    Who can search out our crimes?[b]
We have thought out a cunningly conceived plot.”
    For the inward mind and heart of a man are deep!

But God will shoot his arrow at them;
    they will be wounded suddenly.
Because of their tongue he will bring them to ruin;[c]
    all who see them will wag their heads.
Then all men will fear;
    they will tell what God has wrought,
    and ponder what he has done.

10 Let the righteous rejoice in the Lord,
    and take refuge in him!
Let all the upright in heart glory!


  1. Psalm 64:5 Syr: Heb them
  2. Psalm 64:6 Cn: Heb they search out crimes
  3. Psalm 64:8 Cn: Heb They will bring him to ruin, their tongue being against them



No comments: