The Pondering Pig hasn’t given up trying to explain the 42nd Psalm verse by verse…
Verse 9-10. I say to God, my rock, ‘Why have you forgotten me? Why must I walk about mournfully because the enemy oppresses me?’
As with a deadly wound in my body, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me continually, ‘Where is your God?”
Have you noticed this poet is a real complainer? That’s one of the things I like about him. I appreciate good complaining, and I guess God must too, since it’s presented here as a good way to pray. “Why don’t you come see me anymore? What have I done to deserve this? If you would just come and be with me like you used to then I wouldn’t have to walk around all sad and gloomy. Look, I’m bleeding! Everybody’s talking how you don’t care about me any more!”
Is he trying to make God feel guilty? Good luck.
Yet how many times have you heard the Pig do exactly the same thing? “Why aren’t I happy and content? Why isn’t life perfect? How come I’m not young and beautiful any more? I don’t like this, God. And what about Darfur, huh?”
But I never think to blame God for my sorrow and unhappiness. It never occurred to me. I thought I just was born with a melancholy streak. I mean, really, I’ve got it pretty good. I’m not covered with sores living in a junkyard in a burnt out Chevy panel truck and collecting aluminum cans for my soup. My children are all alive and married and comparatively happy and we love each other and I have hope I’ll see them pretty soon. I can sing and play guitar. I am The Pondering Pig, not Job.
Maybe the Psalmist is more like Job. Maybe really terrible things have happened in his life. Maybe the Temple was blown up by the Persians and his family was led away to Babylon in chains and he is on the run hiding out among the Ammonites or somebody like that up on Mt. Mizar.
Then I’d feel really bad about all the things I said. Then verse eleven would feel different.
Verse 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.
It would become a statement about a man’s immutable, unshakeable faith in the face of the destruction of everything he knows and loves. His faith in God’s love and guidance is the Rock that keeps him fighting on no matter what. Rock solid. The kind of faith I wish I had.
Maybe I’ll start complaining to God about it. It’s worth a try. Imagine living guided by that kind of God-based courage. I want it!
Thanks to Dikenga Films for the pic