Lent 2013 – day 6

18 Feb

Psalm 139:17-18
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.

You know, I am starting to think that the NIV was not designed for poetry!

These verses start of brilliantly, with David talking about how amazing God is (a follow on from yesterday’s verses, though now focussing on His mind and thoughts). But then comes a sentence that makes absolutely no sense in context. The best equivalent I can think of would be in the Beatles song “P.S. I Love You” where, instead of singing “P.S. I love you”, McCartney were to sing “P.S. I left the iron on and we don’t have any bacon in the fridge”. It is a statement of fact that seems to have no relevance to all that David has just said!

Thank goodness I am using a Bible app! I looked through the various translations and the best one seems to me to be the Amplified Bible translation:
How precious and weighty also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I could count them, they would be more in number than the sand. When I awoke, could I count to the end I would still be with You.

The reason I like this version so much is that it immediately makes sense of the anomaly. Rather than a random fact being said, it becomes a comment that is linked to the rest of the words. Now we see that not only is David marvelling at God’s thoughts but also at the fact that God will never leave him, even if he were to study God’s thoughts to the very last one.

So, again, David tells us that God is amazing, beyond our understanding, and that His love is never ending. And he does it in such a lovely way. It almost reads like David is saying to God “I could get lost in your deep blue eyes”, it has become a song of love. It comes back to what I said in my talk yesterday about a deep relationship with God. David has opened himself up to God and their relationship has grown immensely as a result. Oh to be able to be that open to God every day of my life!

Search me, O God, and know my heart;test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me,and lead me in the way everlasting.


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Archbishop Cranmer

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