Sunday, April 25, 2010
Psalm For Sunday: Psalm 24, Vs. 1
1 A Psalm of David.
The earth is the Eternal's, and the that fills it; the world, and those who dwell within.
I have always found David to be one of the most difficult biblical figures to like. He may have been heroic when he fought Goliath. He may have been tender in his love of Jonathan. But he also connived, manipulated and murdered (or at least sent the 'hit men') in order to marry a woman who was another man's wife (Bathsheba). Tradition teaches that God did not allow David to build the Temple in Jerusalem because of the blood of war that was on his hands. Perhaps all of this is why the majority of the psalms have been attributed to David by our sages.
Allowing David, the conniver, to also become the "sweet singer of Israel" in a way redeems him. Or it least shows us that he was more than just the sum of his misdeeds. It can also serve to remind us that we have all of these aspects within each of us as well. We are complex beings with many layers. But ultimately, whether we see ourselves as manipulative or kind, we must remember that we are also part of the Divine and part of the Universe. All of us, what we label "the bad" as well as "the good."
This verse serves to remind us that all is God's. All is God. Divinity fills everything that exists. There is nothing that is without the Divine flow of energy coursing through it. And this includes those who dwell within. In this verse, we are not first and foremost, as Genesis might like us to believe. In fact, we are almost an afterthought.
The earth is God's. All of it is God's .... including all who dwell in it! Come to think of it, it doesn't even say human beings, even though it is translated that way. This puts things in perspective. It counteracts the ego's desire to make us believe that we as individuals, as well as humanity in general, are at the center of things, when in reality it is the Divine, however we choose to define that term, that is the center, the source, the all of being.
Posted by Rabbi Steven Nathan at 12:14 AM
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