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" The gatekeepers are thus attempting to protect the fortress by expressing to those who attempt to tear at it that He who dwells inside will have none of it.)
The purpose of this action, as the next verse tells us, is to bring down a "person of prominence." Prominence is thus granted to that individual from without, through his trust in God. But the word "prominence" is also etymologically linked with "highness, height," which is why translations of this verse refer to the person as being in a "high place." Perhaps that high place that the person belongs to, that gives them prominence, is the fortress of the second verse - the fortress whose walls the perpetrators are attempting to knock down.
Verse four ends with the following characterization of the perpetrators:
They take pleasure in falsehood; they bless with their mouths, but inwardly they curse.
This calls to mind the words of James, brother of Jesus: "Out of the same mouth come good and bad words. My brothers, this should not happen."
The "good words," of course, are blessings, while the "bad words" are curses.
In the Hebrew version of verse 7, the word "God" appears as both the first and last word of the verse, thus re-affirming God's vitality in the verse. This is a unique feature of Hebrew poetry that features often in the Psalms, particularly the Davidic Psalms.
In verse 8, the Psalmist instructs the people to pour out their hearts to God. This means that we should never attempt to hide any of our thoughts from God, for ultimately, "God is our refuge"; God is that fortress whose walls can never be torn down, no matter how hard the believer's enemies may try.
Those of low estate are but a breath," we read in the next verse, while those of high estate are a delusion; in the balances they go up; they are together lighter than a breath.
The Psalmist equates humans with air - completely weightless in their finitude - when measured against the weight of God, who is eternal. When one trusts in God, it becomes readily apparent that the beings one is surrounded by are not important. Once one begins to trust God, one becomes among those who accept - and thus receive - his generous love; as verse 12 tells us, God "repays" all of us for our work at the end of the day.
Psalm 62: Theological Message
With its refrains of "alone" or "only," Psalm 62 is an affirmation of the power of trust in God. The Psalm does not seek to sum up a particular philosophy of life or to explain why suffering occurs; rather, it serves as a celebration, an exaltation of the power and force of God. For the non-believers who are addressed in the Psalm, it is meant to show the possibilities inherent in trusting in God. This trust, it is inferred, lies in sharing with God both the most severe tragedies and the highest joys in one's life.
God, Psalm 62 wishes to tell us, is not a distant, detached, uninvolved figure. God is a real, living force. Not only is God aware of all - he cares for all. It is thus necessary to honor Him at those moments when someone comes tearing down one's fortress - for that fortress is the fortress of God, and its walls can never be torn down.
The importance of waiting is also emphasized in Psalm 62. For the godly that trust in their Lord, He will ultimately bring them salvation, no matter what suffering they must endure in life. They must only wait for it - and through their waiting, their belief will be confirmed. This is the ultimate form of justice in this world, for, as one writer affirms,
The wisdom of [the Psalms] is not a philosophical debate. It is a practical expression of the heart of man to a Living God. The book of Psalms acknowledges the problem of evil prevailing over the innocent, but still ascertains that God is able, and will, bring about true justice in the end.
Bland, David. "Exegesis of Psalm 62." Restoration Quarterly 17.2 (1974): 82-95.
Drijvers, Pius. The Psalms: Their Meaning and Structure. London: Burns and Pats, 1965.
Goeser, Christi. "The Message of the Hebrew Wisdom Literature." Available at http://www.theology.edu/journal/volume3/message.htm. Internet; accessed 26 November 2007.
Leupold, H.C. Expositions of the Psalms. Columbus, OH: The Wartburg Press, 1959.
Snaith, Norman H. "The Meaning of the Hebrew 'ak." Vetus Testamentum 14 (1964).
Spurgeon, C.H. "Treasury of David: Psalm 62." No date. Available at http://www.biblebb.com/files/spurgeon/TOD/chstp62.htm. Internet; accessed 26 November 2007.
Tsevat, Matitiahu. A Study of the Language of the Biblical Psalms. Philadelphia:
Society of Biblical Literature, 1955.
C.H. Spurgeon, "Treasury of David: Psalm 62," no date; available at http://www.biblebb.com/files/spurgeon/TOD/chstp62.htm;Internet; accessed 26 November 2007.
See, for example, 1 Samuel 23:16 and 1 Samuel 30:6.
Spurgeon, "Treasury of David: Psalm 62."
H.C. Leupold, Exposition of the Psalms (Columbus, Ohio: The Wartburg Press, 1959), 458.
Pius Drijvers, the Psalms: Their Meaning and Structure (London: Burns and Pats, 1965), 118-123.
David Bland, "Exegesis of Psalm 62," Restoration Quarterly 17.2 (1974): 83.
Norman H. Snaith, "The Meaning of the Hebrew 'ak," Vetus Testamentum 14 (1964): 221.
Bland, "Exegesis of Psalm 62," 85.
Matitiahu Tsevat, a Study of…[continue]
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EDSE 600: History and Philosophy of Education / / 3.0 credits The class entitled, History and Philosophy of Education, focused on the origin of education and the "philosophical influences of modern educational theory and practice. Study of: philosophical developments in the Renaissance, Reformation, and revolutionary periods; social, cultural and ideological forces which have shaped educational policies in the United States; current debates on meeting the wide range of educational and social-emotional