Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Seek His face

“Seek His face.” Psalm 27:8 Jerusalem Bible

Psalms for the 5th Day:
Psalms 24 ~ 29
The psalms of the fifth day include many, many prayers. Reading them this evening ushered me into my prayer room like a welcoming old friend. Let me share some of the verses from this evening…

Who has the right to climb the mountain of Yahweh,
who the right to stand in His holy place?
He whose hands are clean, whose heart is pure,
whose soul does not pay homage to worthless things
and who never swears to a lie.
Psalm 24: 3-4 JB

The next verses form the text of the consecration service of an Orthodox house of worship. The epískopos raps the butt of his staff against the closed western doors reciting the first part. A voice from within asks the question. The epískopos answers. This is done three times, and then the doors swing open, and the congregation, waiting outside, enters the newly consecrated temple.

Gates, raise your arches,
rise you ancient doors,
let the King of Glory in!

Who is this King of Glory?
Yahweh the strong, the valiant,
Yahweh valiant in battle!

Gates, raise your arches,
rise you ancient doors,
let the King of Glory in!

Who is this King of Glory?
He is Yahweh Sabaoth,
King of Glory, He!
Psalm 24:7-10 JB

Psalms 25 to 28 are full of prayers.
These are some that speak for me…

Yahweh, make Your ways known to me,
teach me Your paths.
Set me in the way of Your Truth, and teach me,
for You are the God who saves me.
Psalm 25:4-5 JB

Do not remember the sins of my youth;
but rather, with Your love, remember me.
Psalm 25:7 JB

Let innocence and integrity be my protection,
since my hope is in You, Yahweh.
Psalm 25: 21 JB

Test me, Yahweh, and probe me,
put me to trial, loins and heart;
for Your love is before my eyes,
and I live my life in loyalty to You.
Psalm 26:2-3 JB

One thing I ask of Yahweh,
one thing I seek:
to live in the House of Yahweh
all the days of my life,
to enjoy the sweetness of Yahweh
and to consult Him in His temple.
Psalm 27:4 JB

Yahweh, hear my voice as I cry!
Pity me! Answer me!
My heart has said of You,
“Seek His face.”
Yahweh, I do seek Your face;
do not hide Your face from me.
Psalm 27:7-9a JB

This I believe: I shall see the goodness of Yahweh
in the land of the living.
Put your hope in Yahweh, be strong, let your heart be bold,
put your hope in Yahweh.
Psalm 27:13-14 JB

Yahweh is my strength, my shield,
my heart puts its trust in Him;
I have been helped, my flesh has bloomed again,
I thank Him with all my heart.

Yahweh is the strength of His people,
a saving fortress for His anointed.
Save Your people! Bless Your heritage!
Shepherd them; carry them forever!
Psalm 28:7-9 JB

The last verse above, “Save Your people…” I remember well the beautiful roar of song that the mighty man of God, bishop Anthony, let out when he was with us at Aghía Triás, blessing us with this verse, in English and in the original Greek, “…και ευλογησον την κληρονομιαν σου.” Though he has gone to be with his Lord, I can hear him singing still…

The last psalm for the fifth day, Psalm 29, didn't have the meaning it has for me today, until I heard the Jews at the Sephardi synagogue of Ahavath Achim, ‘brotherly love’, singing it, in Hebrew of course, during the Shabbat evening service. Since then, I have also taken to reading and praying the psalms in Hebrew at home from my copy of the Tehillim. You can read it, and even hear it being read, in Hebrew at my Tehillim blog, here.

Pay tribute to Yahweh, you sons of God,
tribute to Yahweh of glory and power,
tribute to Yahweh of the glory of His name,
worship Yahweh in His sacred court.

The voice of Yahweh over the waters!
Yahweh over the multitudinous waters!
The voice of Yahweh in power!
The voice of Yahweh in splendour!

The voice of Yahweh shatters the cedars,
Yahweh shatters the cedars of Lebanon,
making Lebanon leap like a calf,
Sirion like a young wild bull.

The voice of Yahweh sharpens lightning shafts!

The voice of Yahweh sets the wilderness shaking.
Yahweh shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of Yahweh sets the terebinths shuddering,
stripping the forests bare.

The God of Glory thunders.
In His palace everything cries, “Glory!”
Yahweh sat enthroned for the Flood,
Yahweh sits enthroned as a King for ever.

Yahweh gives strength to His people,
Yahweh blesses His people with peace.
Psalm 29 JB

End of the Psalms for the 5th Day.

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