Tuesday, February 03, 2009

For God Alone

Psalm 62:
62:1 For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from him comes my salvation.
2 He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.

3 How long will all of you attack a man
to batter him,
like a leaning wall, a tottering fence?
4 They only plan to thrust him down from his high position.
They take pleasure in falsehood.
They bless with their mouths,
but inwardly they curse. Selah

5 For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him.
6 He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
7 On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.

8 Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah

9 Those of low estate are but a breath;
those of high estate are a delusion;
in the balances they go up;
they are together lighter than a breath.
10 Put no trust in extortion;
set no vain hopes on robbery;
if riches increase, set not your heart on them.

11 Once God has spoken;
twice have I heard this:
that power belongs to God,
12 and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love.
For you will render to a man
according to his work.

One of the more annoying habits of the right is the constant, reference- and reality-free invocation that we who voted for Barack Obama, and who support his major policy goals, view him as some kind of super-human figure. He is called "Obamessiah", as if either he thought of himself that way, or we who support him did so.

As a Christian, I find this not just really kind of stupid, but more than mildly offensive. As I rarely take serious offense, I think it important to make this point again. To claim that anyone would believe our current President is anything more than a human being, and a politician to boot, and that those of us who have followed politics for many years would somehow view the incumbent to the office as of greater worth than any other human being is not just stupid. It is offensive. Those making the claim do so without reference to anything, any statement, any opinion. Apparently, it was alright to hail George W. Bush's constant invocation of "evildoers" as some profound theo-political message, absent any serious follow-through, and in the face of myriad violations of domestic and international law, to say nothing of the shredding of our Constitution. To support Barack Obama, however, is somehow to engage in idolatry. Not just weird. Not just stupid. Offensive.

Psalm 62 has always been a favorite of mine, and should stand as my one, only, and final response to any person who might wish to accuse me of this kind of thing. This Psalm is a hymn to the board-clearing that comes with worshiping the God who calls Israel His people; the God whom Jesus called Father. Indeed, it is a nice reminder that we should be careful in all the identities we either choose or have thrust upon us by circumstances; both the high and the low, the rich and the poor, stand before God as equal, of little value in and for themselves, and equally facing the ultimate leveler of all distinctions, death.

For God alone I wait. For God alone. God alone is my strength and my refuge.


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