December 12, 2007

Musings on Eternity, Waiting and Hope

In this very short season of Advent, amidst all the preparations for Christmas, some passages to help us keep things in perspective as we wait for the coming of the King:

Psalm 39
[1] I said, "I will guard my ways,
that I may not sin with my tongue;
I will bridle my mouth,
so long as the wicked are in my presence."
[2] I was dumb and silent;
I held my peace to no avail;
my distress grew worse,
[3] my heart became hot within me.
As I mused, the fire burned;
then I spoke with my tongue:

[4] "Lord, let me know my end,
and what is the measure f my days;
let me know how fleeting my life is!
[5] Behold, Thou hast made my days a few
handbreadths,
and my lifetime is as nothing in Thy
sight.
Surely every man stands as a mere
breath!
[6] Surely man goes about as a shadow!
Surely for nought are they in turmoil;
man heaps up, and knows not who
will gather!

[7] And now, Lord, for what do I wait?
My hope is in Thee.
[8] Deliver me from all my transgressions.
Make me not the scorn of the fool!
[9] I am dumb, I do not open my mouth;
for it is Thou who hast done it.
[10] Remove Thy stroke from me;
I am spent by the blows of Thy Hand.
[11] When Thou dost chasten man
with rebukes for sin,
Thou dost consume like a moth what is
dear to him;
surely every man is a mere breath!

[12] "Hear my prayer, O Lord,
and give ear to my cry;
hold not Thy peace at my tears!
For I am Thy passing guest,
a sojourner, like all my fathers.
[13]Look away from me, that I may know
gladness,
before I depart and be no more!"

Psalm 42
[1] As a hart longs
for flowing streams,
so longs my soul
for Thee, My God,
[2] My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
When shall I come and behold
the face of God?
[3] My tears have been my food
day and night,
while men say to me continually,
"Where is your God?"

[4] These things I remember,
as I pour out my soul;
how I went with the throng;
and led them in procession to the
house of God,
with glad shouts and songs of
thanksgiving,
a multitude keeping festival.
[5] Why are you cast down, O my souo,
and why are you disquieted
within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my help and my God.
My soul is cast down within me,
therefore I remember Thee
from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,
from Mount Mizar.
[7] Deep calls to deep
at the thunder of Thy cataracts;
all Thy waves and Thy billows
have gone over me.
[8] By day the Lord commands His
steadfast love; and at night His song
is within me, a prayer to the God of
my life.
[9] I say to God, my rock:
"Why hast Thou forgotten me?
Why go I mourning
because of the oppression of the enemy?"
[10] As with a deadly wound in my body,
my adversaries taunt me, while they say
to me continually, "Where is your God?"
[11] Why are you cast down, O my soul;
and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise
him, my help and my God.

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