Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Scriptures Are Radical (a short post during lunch hour)

Psalm 10 (New International Version)

1 Why, Lord, do you stand far off?
    Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
2 In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak,
    who are caught in the schemes he devises.
3 He boasts about the cravings of his heart;
    he blesses the greedy and reviles the Lord.
4 In his pride the wicked man does not seek him;
    in all his thoughts there is no room for God.
5 His ways are always prosperous;
    your laws are rejected by him;
    he sneers at all his enemies.
6 He says to himself, “Nothing will ever shake me.”
    He swears, “No one will ever do me harm.”
7 His mouth is full of lies and threats;
    trouble and evil are under his tongue.
8 He lies in wait near the villages;
    from ambush he murders the innocent.
His eyes watch in secret for his victims;
9     like a lion in cover he lies in wait.
He lies in wait to catch the helpless;
    he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net.
10 His victims are crushed, they collapse;
    they fall under his strength.
11 He says to himself, “God will never notice;
    he covers his face and never sees.”
12 Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, O God.
    Do not forget the helpless.
13 Why does the wicked man revile God?
    Why does he say to himself,
    “He won’t call me to account”?
14 But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted;
    you consider their grief and take it in hand.
The victims commit themselves to you;
    you are the helper of the fatherless.
15 Break the arm of the wicked man;
    call the evildoer to account for his wickedness
    that would not otherwise be found out.
16 The Lord is King for ever and ever;
    the nations will perish from his land.
17 You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted;
    you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
18 defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
    so that mere earthly mortals
    will never again strike terror.

Beginning with the author being willing to question God for not intervening, of that level of intimacy with the ultimate power and authority of existence.  Insisting, against any evidence, that the ultimate justice of God's order of its preferential option for the poor the weak and the oppressed (something that The Reverend Martin Luther King jr. insisted on) and calling out the powerful as being no more than the thugs, crooks and murderers they are.    Compare that to your typical pseudo-leftist discourse about the primacy of the "fittest" under natural selection as a substitute morality.   Even with the incoherent patch job of "mutual assistance" it is watered down sour milk by comparison.  Ultimately, under any atheistic formulation of "morality" there is nothing to prevent someone from saying, "“Nothing will ever shake me.” “No one will ever do me harm.”   That's a logical consequence when, "your laws are rejected by him"  and a gangster figures he can safely "sneer at his enemies".  

Traditional American liberalism is the product of that moral tradition.  It withers and dies if it's cut off from it.

1 comment:

  1. But that tradition is nothing but vengeance and wrath of God stuff. All the smart kids say so.

    Or it's just Bronze Age mythology. Which is even smarter!