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Archive for the ‘Bible interpretation’ Category

psalm 63

There are some Psalms that are classics of devotion to God. They seem to exemplify the emotion and experiential relationship we should have with the Father. But as we’ve noted, if they are only that then they are also crushing and condemning.

Now I want to look at Psalm 63 – another classic of devotion. But then I find Christopher Ash has written (here) what I wanted to say and said it far better than I could so here he is:

In May 1943, from his prison cell, Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “I read the Psalms every day, as I have done for years; I know them and love them more than any other book.” I have been gripped for a few years now by the vision of getting the Psalms back into Christian use in evangelical circles. It seems to me that they will help us learn to pray; and they will reshape our disordered affections in God’s ways, avoiding both an arid intellectualism (when we are so frightened of charismatic error that we fight shy of the language of affections and emotions) and an uncontrolled emotionalism (in which emotions run riot in disordered subjectivism).

How difficult it is to pray the Psalms

I take it the Psalms are in scripture in order that we should learn to pray them – and pray them all. That, at least, has been the mainstream Christian understanding since the very earliest centuries. But when we try to pray them, we hit all sorts of problems. We read protestations of innocence we know we cannot make without pharisaical hypocrisy; we hear descriptions of appalling suffering that are way beyond what we experience; we see descriptions of hostility too intense even for metaphorical believability about those who don’t like us; and, perhaps most difficult, we can’t see how we are supposed to pray for God to punish our enemies without lapsing into vengeful thoughts.

The ‘skim and pick’ strategy

So what we usually do is to skim over the bits that don’t fit with our experience, and focus in on the bits that do. “Ah,” I say, “There’s a verse I can identify with; I’ll put that on my calendar.” But even as I do that, there’s a little voice telling me it won’t do; for either I pray the Psalms or I don’t. If I pick and choose, I am just using the Psalms for ideas that chime with my pre-existing ideas about how to pray; and that approach lacks integrity.

The Big Idea: the songs of Jesus

Here’s the big idea I’ve found helpful: think what it would have meant for Jesus of Nazareth to pray a Psalm in his earthly life, in synagogue Sabbath by Sabbath. Very many of the Psalms come into sharp focus when we think of Jesus praying them. It’s not a case of ‘one size fits all’; some Psalms are about the Messiah rather than by the Messiah; others are corporate, as the people of the Messiah sing together; in yet others we hear the voice of the Messiah speaking to us. But many of the Psalms – and especially Psalms ‘of David’ – make the deepest, sharpest, and fullest sense when we think of the Messiah praying them to his heavenly Father. David is a prophet (Acts 2:30) and so he spoke and prayed by the Spirit of Christ (1 Peter 1:10-12); what he prayed expressed his own experience, and yet pointed beyond this; it was the echo of a prayer yet to be prayed, by one who would pray it in its fullness.

Augustine has this lovely idea that Jesus is the cantor, or choir-leader, leading the people of Christ in the singing of a Psalm. The Psalms are his songs before they become our songs, and they become our songs only as we are men and women in union with Christ. We sing them in him, led by him our Representative Head.

There’s lots of theology surrounding this, and plenty of evidence, especially from the ways in which the New Testament writers appropriate the Psalms in Christ. But let me illustrate the difference this makes from one psalm I’ve preached recently:

Example: Psalm 63

In Psalm 63 we read of David’s deep desire for God (v1), David’s passionate delight in God (vv2-4), David’s enduring joy in God that continues through the darkest night (vv5-8) and David’s confidence that his enemies will be destroyed (vv9,10). If I try to make that my prayer (to draw the line of application direct from David to me), I end up saying things like, “David desired God, and I ought to try to desire God more than I do; David delighted deeply in God, and I really ought to desire God more than I do; David had joy in God even in the dark nights, and it would be good if I could learn to do the same…” and so on. Which leaves me deeply discouraged, for it is exhortation with no gospel, and I can’t do it.

But the Psalm makes perfect sense when I read it of Jesus’ desire for the Father, Jesus’ delight in the Father, Jesus’ joy in the Father even in the darkness of a sinful world, and Jesus’ confidence in final vindication. It is his song before it can become mine, and it can be mine only in him. And then it is gospel. I thank God that there is one who desired God, delighted in God, rejoiced in God, was confident in God’s vindication.

Verse 11 is the key. For in verse 11 we meet three responses. First, “the king rejoices in God”; this is the song of the king. Second, “all who swear by God will glory in him”; this is where we come in, the king’s people sharing his desire, his delight, his joy, and his confidence, by his Spirit. And third, “the mouths of liars will be silenced”, those who will not be part of the king’s people.

As I look for opportunities to preach more and more Psalms, I am finding again and again that praying them as the people of God in union with Christ transforms them from a crushing exhortation (try to pray like the psalmist) into a liberating gospel (thank God for the one who prays like this, and who is our Representative Head).

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History wars

A Christian missionary gave a Bible to an Indian Hindu intellectual. After he had read it, the man said: ‘I thought you said this was a religious book? As far as I can see it is not about religion. It is a particular interpretation of history’. So, in his own terms of ritual, etc., this man did not recognise Christianity as a religion. (John Benton, Christianity in a PC World)

Very good observation.

In the UK throughout much of 2013 a war was raging in the letters pages of the newspapers over a new history curriculum proposed by Education Secretary Michael Gove. Just Google history curriculum gove and you’ll find a ton of strongly worded articles on both sides of the argument. Who cares? Well it raised very important issues which I think are very relevant to how we read the Bible – that is if we recognise, as the Hindu intellectual recognised, that the Bible is all about history.

  1. One of Gove’s concerns was that huge number of children leave British secondary schools with no knowledge of key events and people in British and world history. They could not put the Roman, Egyptian and Greek empires in the correct order. They would have very little idea who Winston Churchill was or whether he came before or after Elizabeth I. They know virtually nothing about the English Civil War or even that there was one. (I suspect most Kenyan 8-4-4 students know far more British history than their British counterparts.) What Gove wanted was for children to get a sense of the “narrative arc” of history, the key turning points and phases from the Stone Age, through the invasions, wars and revolutions, to the present. Surely the same argument could be made even stronger for the Bible. We need to know the narrative arc. We need to be able to put David, Melchizedek, Nehemiah and Jacob in the right order. We need to know about the key turning points and phases and the shape of the whole story.
  2. There is also the issue of style of teaching. The history wars are partly between an old-fashioned teacher-led, didactic model and a newer (1970s) child-led, inductive approach. The first is usually ridiculed as boring rote learning and the latter seen as exciting and engaging. While it’s true old fashioned history teaching was often boring, as a number of commentators have pointed out, the best history teachers are those who can tell the stories. That is what is captivating and engaging. Hearing the great sweep of history and the stranger-than-fiction narratives of kings and explorers, plagues and wars, betrayals and reversals, tragedies and triumphs. And again the same case can be made even stronger for the Bible. There’s a place, a very important place, for inductive Bible reading and personal investigation but there’s also an important place for from-the-front preaching and teaching and storytelling. Half the Bible is narrative, engrossing, brilliantly written, shocking, hilarious and gripping narratives, and the whole thing is a story, the greatest story ever told. Let’s preach the story.
  3. Then there is a deeper issue in the debate. It’s a contrast between the “Imagine you’re a Viking” approach and the “Let’s learn about the Vikings” approach. In the first (the approach that’s been popular in the UK since the late 1960s) it’s about imagination and role-play and immediacy and empathy rather than the ‘nasty old fashioned focus on dusty facts and distant names and dates’. Empathy and imagination are important but the newer approach, at the end, makes history all about me. I’m not genuinely interested in the people in the past in their own right, I just want to jump into their shoes and play a computer game simulation. In the process I learn virtually nothing about history and reinforce the tremendous conceit that everyone thinks like me and I am the most important person not only now but throughout world history. Again, notice the relevance this has to Bible reading. Do I respect the fact that King David was a real historical person who is not me? Or do I jump straight into his shoes and start playing Goliath Battlefield 4? Is the Bible all about me or all about… Jesus?

More on the History Wars: here (Simon Jenkins) and here (Matthew Hunter)

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smelly

What does Paul mean in 2 Corinthians 2:14-15 when he talks of how God “through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere, for we are the aroma of Christ”?

Sometimes we pray that there would be the ‘aroma of Christ’ in a home or a city. Perhaps we hope that through our presence around non-Christians, without having to say a word, they would pick up something of the ‘fragrance of Jesus’. What are we talking about? What does Jesus smell like? A flowery meadow? I guess – if we were pushed – we might say we’re talking about ‘life-style evangelism’, about ‘preach the gospel and if necessary use words’, about ‘being Christ to people’, about ‘living such good lives that people would see something of God in us’.

But is that what 2 Cor. 2:14-15 is about? What’s the context? (Sorry it’s the C-word again!)

When I came to Troas to preach the gospel… (v12)

Who is sufficient to these things? For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ. (v16-17)

And in between those two brackets, what does it say this fragrance is all about? “…the knowledge of him” (v14). And what are the reactions to this fragrance? Interestingly it is not that everyone is attracted by the wonderful flowery scent:

to one [perishing] a fragrance from death to death, to the other [being saved] a fragrance from life to life. (v16)

Haven’t we heard that somewhere before?

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God. (1 Cor. 1:18)

So now I’m starting to think (and I find that the old commentators got there hundreds of years before me) that Paul is just using a very powerful metaphor to talk of his preaching of the Cross in terms of smell. To some, Christ-centred preaching will stink. To others it will be like heaven itself has been opened and they catch the fragrant wafts of Eden, of the Banquet and of the Beloved (SoS 1:12-13; 2:4,12-13; 3:6; 5;13; 7:12-13).

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Bernie muluuGuest post from our good friend Bernard Muluuta, pioneering some grassroots work encouraging faithful Bible teaching in Uganda:

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Preaching is fundamental in the growth of the church and bears much fruit in the lives of Christians especially when done faithfully.

There are steps we go through when we get down to preaching or rather prepare to: we pray, study, pray some more, study more, write, pray and finally speak God’s Word to His people.

In our study and preparation, we are encouraged to handle the text right. “Context. Context. Context,” we are reminded, “is key” to understanding the big idea of the text. One other reason why we need to get our context right is because it affects how we apply the text to our hearers. A good understanding of the text and its context will greatly help us to apply the text to the people we are preaching to and show them why the text is relevant to them today and through that we hear God speak to us.

Spotting the context within a verse, chapter or book is good but it is also helpful to see it from the big picture perspective of the whole sweep of Scripture. All through the Bible we run into precedents – events that set patterns, they become a mould other events can fit into or are modelled on. (I don’t think I am the only one who runs into déjà vu moments in Scripture.)

We see patterns (set rolling by precedents) that are repeated in the Bible: the sacrificial system; prophets preaching God’s Word to a wayward people; God’s judgement against the people for their rebellion; the need for a king to lead God’s people; salvation for those who have faith in Jesus Christ.

The patterns have a lot to teach us about God, His character and plans, what He was teaching His people and how deviating from the pattern brought punishment against the people.

But it’s not just precedents and patterns we run into, we also find one-off phenomena – occurrences that happen only once and we are left with no other events to draw parallels to in an attempt to find a good explanation for the event. These are the exceptions.

moses-and-the-burning-bush-the-bible-27076046-400-300In the Old Testament we find events like Enoch walking with God and being taken away (Gen. 5.24), Moses and the Burning Bush (Ex. 3), Joshua and the messenger of the LORD (Josh 5.13), Gideon and the woollen fleece (Jdg 6.36-38). In the New Testament we find Paul’s encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9), Paul’s shadow and handkerchief healing the sick (Acts 19.11-12).

I point out this distinction because it is easy for us to mistake an exception for a precedent. In preaching some dwell on some of these exceptions and make so much of them more than the text itself intends.  This is reflected in the applications in the sermon as people are told they should walk with God that like Enoch they will be taken away (as mysteriously as he was). Or how like Moses they need a burning bush experience. In yesteryears I have heard (and unfortunately still hear) sermons where people are told that they like Paul should have the power to heal the sick with their shadows and handkerchiefs.

People experience frustration when they hear sermons that turn these exceptions into patterns that are supposed to be happening in their lives but never materialise. It has resulted in Christians who think their faith is weak simply because “these signs are not following them.” (Mk. 16.17-18) Others wonder what is wrong with them if they have not had a “face-to-face” chat with God like Moses did.

We need to be careful as preachers to study the Scriptures right and understand where events fit into God’s salvation story and revelation of Himself. Our understanding of their relevance then and God choosing to reveal Himself in a particular way will affect what we preach as well as how we apply the text to our hearers.

Let us not weigh down the church with expectations and challenges God did not intend for them or leave the church with the wrong impression of what God is communicating.

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I recently read an article critiquing one of the so-called ‘hypergrace’ preachers. It doesn’t really matter who it was. I don’t really want to get involved in defending or attacking the particular guy. The comment thread below the critique article was about a mile long as often happens when someone attacks a big name preacher – it all gets quite emotive. So I’ll call the preacher ‘X’ below. What I was interested in was the arguments of the article writer. He makes about 7 points and I thought it might be worth interacting with them in a few blog posts as they raise lots of important issues:

1.  X Makes Blanket Statements and Tries to Fit All Scripture Within His System

‘Blanket statements’ is a bit misleading – as the article writer explains it, P is not really coming up with his own blanket statements so much as privileging one part of Scripture (Paul’s letters) over against another (John’s letters). This is a fair criticism in the sense that we should be very careful to look at the whole testimony of Scripture and not teach one part so that it contradicts another part. But at the same time we’ve got to be honest that we all privilege some parts of Scripture above others. We have our favourite verses which act as something of a control over how we look at the whole Bible. And maybe that is a good thing so long as the verses that we think are key really are key.

  • So for example, when there are ‘whoever’/‘no one’/‘every’/‘no’/‘never’ statements like John 3:16; 10:29; 14:6; Romans 8:1, particularly when they come at key points in the argument of the book or letter in question and when the genre and context indicates this is not hyperbole or just a proverbial general truth or just for that point in the storyline or qualified in some way, then they are ‘blanket statements’. Everything else you read in the Bible has to be in harmony with them.
  • In particular there are a number of places where the Bible seems to be giving us pretty ‘blanket statements’ about the Bible itself. We’ve surely got to pay special attention to those bits. I’m thinking of Luke 24, John 5, 2 Tim. 3 and 1 Peter 1. They are going to affect the way we approach the whole Bible – looking for Christ crucified and how we can have life in him.
  • While all Scripture is God breathed it is quite obvious that it is uneven in importance and significance. So for example, Isaiah 53 is one of the highest summits in the mountain range of Scripture. (1) It has a key role in the book of Isaiah itself – just contrast it with chapter 1 (the deep problem of sin (v2-4), the metaphor of the bruised and battered man (v5-6), the question of how sins will be made white as snow (v18) ; (2) it has a key role in the OT, as the answer to Gen. 3:15 and the great hanging question of how God can be just (Gen. 18:25) and the justifier of the ungodly (Gen. 15:6) and in bringing together the rich themes of sacrifice, messiah, innocent suffering and peace; (3) in the NT, Isaiah 53 is quoted or alluded to than any other OT passage.
  • Of course if I just a rip a verse (e.g. 2 Sam. 22:26 NIV) out of context and forget about Christ and make that my lens for the Bible and the Christian life then it’s going to be a disaster. But if it really is a key verse then fair enough.

What about the idea of a ‘system’ though? “X Tries to Fit All Scripture Within His System”. X is not just privileging some Scripture he has got a System. This pits ‘good Scripture’ against ‘nasty System’. But again, we’ve got to be honest, we all come to the Bible with a theology or ‘framework’ or ‘system’ more or less clearly in our heads. If we come to the Bible as ‘God’s Word’ rather than a random collection of ancient writings, if we know that Jesus is God and that the Three are One etc. that is a theological system. And that’s not a bad thing in itself. In a very helpful article, ‘Theology & Bible Reading’ J.I. Packer argues that theology, among other things, a) shows us how to approach the Bible; b) sets out the substance and heart of the Bible; c) forearms us against heretical understandings of the Bible. The key thing is whether your theology has come from the Bible and is constantly being reshaped and reformed by the Bible.

theology as an activity, properly understood, is Bible reading as it ought to be, and Bible reading, properly understood, is theology as it out to be. (Packer, ‘Theology & Bible Reading’, p. 74)

If we pretend we have no system and just ‘read the Bible as it is’ we are deceiving ourselves. If I say, ‘I just open the Bible, read a verse, and the Spirit applies it to me’ – that is a system and one that can get you into a whole lot of trouble and leave you open to all manner of crazy interpretation. Furthermore, if I’m not aware I have a system I inevitably pour it into every text I read. In contrast, if you know you have a system that self-awareness means you can catch yourself pouring your framework into a text and say to yourself, hang on a minute maybe this text needs to challenge my framework.

Let’s be honest about where we’re coming from, let’s read through big chunks of the Bible, let’s listen to one another (the Spirit is given to the church not just me personally) and let’s think carefully how to read the Bible as Jesus would have us read it.

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tower of babel

Schools, NGOs, even politicians and businesses talk about being guided by ‘Christian values’. We want ‘value-based leadership’. Parents want to inculcate ‘good values’. Churches promise ‘kingdom principles’ which will transform your life.

  • Value (in pl.) one’s principles or standards
  • Principle – 1. A general law; 2. a personal code of conduct

The Bible doesn’t seem to be big on values and principles.

A couple of problems with values and principles:

  1. They are cut free from the story line of salvation history and turned into general truths and laws like gravity. I was reading an otherwise very good book on mission recently which was drawing lessons from the mission of the Apostle Paul. Loads of helpful stuff. But then a friend pointed out the flaw in the argument. It was all about getting principles from Paul which we could then follow to achieve the same results (church planting, church growth) as he had. This is turning a narrative into a set of principles which are then treated as laws which can be tested in the laboratory with the same results every time. What it was not considering was whether maybe the early days of the church in the book of Acts might have been a special point in the story of the history of Israel. Perhaps those days correspond, as a number of commentators have noted, to the early chapters in Joshua – the entry to the land. Even by the end of the book of Joshua and the end of the book of Acts the spectacular explosion of victories and miracles seems to be lessening. So maybe we should not demand exactly the same results as Paul (healing hankies, thousands converted) when we preach the same gospel from the Scriptures.
  2. They are cut free from the person of Jesus. Not always but very often you find that people and institutions that talk a lot about Christian principles and values are much less keen to talk about Christ. It’s understandable. Almost everyone, from all religions and none can sign up to Christian values. Just don’t give us Christ. Christ divides people. And yet he is the spring of all the so-called ‘values’. They are organically connected to him. They are the fruit of his Spirit. And crucially they flow from his gospel. Again and again in the NT letters it is the logic of the gospel which gives rise to the new Christian life. At the last MTC we found in Colossians that it is our death and resurrection with Christ which is the reason why we should put off the old self and evil desires and put on the new Christ-like self (Col. 3:1-11). It is as ‘God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved’, forgiven by the Lord, that we are to love and forgive others. Once you cut values away from Christ then you have cut the flower from the root – it begins to wither and die (witness the UK in the last two years since the prime minister made his ‘Christian values’ speech). They become powerless legalism and hypocrisy and then a redundant nonsense. As John Gray argues very powerfully in Straw Dogs, you cannot maintain Christian values when you have rejected a Christian worldview. The only source of true love and humility is a God of love and humility who has acted in history and is in the business of conforming his people to the image of his Son.

What does this mean for preaching?

Is it ok to preach values from Old Testament texts?

That was the question asked by one of the apprentices at the last MTC. And he answered his own question with a very helpful example from Genesis 11 – the tower of Babel. It’s a text often used to preach on the value of unity:

Nothing they propose to do will be impossible for them. (Gen. 11:6b)

So unity is a great value because it allows us to do more together than we can do alone. Indeed nothing will be impossible for us if only we have unity as a school, a church, a nation…

But as Fidel reported in his recent post (here) the point of the Babel story is the big problem of humanity seeking self-praise, self-sufficiency and security. In this context unity is a dangerous idolatrous evil thing. We could mention the Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5) – great marital unity but not in a good cause. Or we could think of Nazi Germany in the 1930s – impressively united. So unity in itself is not a great value. I wonder (come back at me) whether any unity outside of Christ (nationalism, ethnocentrism etc.) is dangerous…

True unity is seen in the Trinity and then in Genesis 2 – the man and the woman became one, “and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church” (Eph. 5:32). And then at the Cross the Second Adam in his death created one new man – Jew and Gentile united to one another and to God (Eph. 2:16). In view of that gospel Paul urges the Ephesians, “maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit… one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father…” (Eph. 4:3-6)

‘Principles’ are what the world does – in fact they’re part of what Christ saved us from (Gal. 4:3; Col. 2:20) so let’s not go back to them (Gal. 4:9; Col. 2:8). Let’s just value Christ and see what happens…

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In a number of Psalms there are multiple voices. Often they’re taken as one believer talking to another believer. But I’m starting to wonder whether sometimes there is more to it than that.

I’ve just been looking at Psalm 91 and Psalm 121. Both Psalms about divine protection. Lots of shared language and ideas. And a similar structure too in terms of the voices.

Psalm 91

  • Verse 1 – A voice talks in the third person about ‘he’ who takes refuge in the Most High
  • Verse 2 – A voice talks in the first person, looking to the LORD for refuge.
  • Verses 3-13 – A voice talks in the second person of how the LORD, the Most High, will be a refuge to ‘you’ (this speaker is also, himself taking refuge in this LORD – v9)
  • Verses 14-16 – A voice talks in the first person about how he will be a refuge to ‘him’

There are at least two speakers. Everyone agrees that v14-16 must be the LORD himself coming in and confirming that he will indeed deliver/protect/rescue.

It could be that v1-13 is all the Psalmist speaking, first giving a general truth (v1) , then saying what his prayer is to his God (v2), then encouraging other believers (v3-13). But it is very striking that the “you” throughout v3-13 is singular. Just as v1 and v14-16 seem to be talking about a singular man. It could be a generalised ‘believer’ but it’s interesting what happens when Satan quotes this Psalm to Jesus a thousand years later in the wilderness. The strength of the devil’s attack rests on the fact that Jesus knows that this Psalm is about the Son of God. “If you are the Son of God, then Psalm 91:11-12 applies to you doesn’t it? So why don’t you just throw yourself down off the Temple and claim those promises?”

Jesus doesn’t debate the application to himself but he knows a) that you don’t have to ‘test’ a Father-Son relationship and b) this Psalm is going to be fulfilled through the Cross and resurrection – suffering and then glory.

So Psalm 91:3-13 is being spoken to Jesus by another voice – a comforter who encourages him that the LORD God, the Most High will protect him. Who is this? Who could be Jesus’ comforter? How about The Comforter – the Spirit. The one who speaks through the Psalmist (2 Sam. 23:2).

And who is the Most High LORD who is mentioned in v1, v9 and then speaks in v14-16? Surely that must be the Father. The one who is loved by the Son (v14).

So perhaps Psalm 91 works a bit like this:

  • Verse 1 – The Spirit tells us about the Son as the one who dwells in the Father – this verse in a sense functions as the title of the Psalm.
  • Verse 2 – The Son speaks of how he will cry out to the Father.
  • Verses 3-13 – The Spirit reassures the Son of the protection of the Father.
  • Verses 14-16 – The Father tells us about the Son.

Psalm 121

Similar but a bit simpler:

  • Verses 1-2 – A voice speaks in the first person, looking to the LORD for help.
  • Verses 3-8 – A voice speaks in the second person of how ‘the LORD is your keeper’

It could be one person turning from looking to the LORD to address us but most commentators hear two voices, a young faltering pilgrim and then another more experienced pilgrim encouraging him (the ‘you’ in v3-8 is consistently singular).

It certainly does look like two voices but to me the first voice doesn’t sound very young and inexperienced. He just sounds like the Psalmist often sounds, crying out to the LORD and simultaneously confident that the LORD will hear and act. The reference to the Creator of heavens and earth isn’t immature faith but consistent with Ps. 124:8 and 134:3.

The second voice is the comforter/encourager of the first voice. And maybe he gives us a clue to the first voice he is addressing in verse 4 – “Israel”. This, together with the similarity with Ps. 91 makes me think the first voice is the Son (cf. Ex. 4:22). So maybe, as in Ps. 91, the second voice is the Spirit.

What do you think?

Still thinking this stuff through. But if there is something like this going on I find it pretty amazing that we’re allowed to listen in as the Spirit encourages the Son of the Father’s care.

 

baptism

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