Summer with the Psalms: July 25, 2021
Psalm 2, Psalm 144
Growing up, we each had assigned seats at the dinner table. Dad was at one end and mom was at the other. As the oldest, I sat at my dad’s right hand. My dad frequently traveled to Latin America for his work, and before he left, he would pass authority to my next youngest brother (the oldest of the 4), saying, “You are the oldest, most responsible son at home”. (I was always the oldest, most responsible daughter, so there was no need to bestow more power on my shoulders for a short time!) By bestowing that kind of title on my brother, my dad was saying– you are responsible, so act accordingly, take over some of my roles while I am away, help your mom, be an example to your younger brothers. One of the most visible demonstrations of this shift in power was that he was allowed to sit in dad’s seat at the table. Dad was selecting a proxy and giving my brother extra powers (which, by the way, he usually did not hesitate to use). Over the years, as brothers grew up and left home, the “oldest, most responsible son at home” title changed from one to another, and different brothers were given the seat of authority.
To my knowledge, we never had a written job description for the oldest, most responsible son at home, but it was understood by all of us what responsibilities that title carried for the bearer. Neither do we have a clearly written job description in our scriptures for a Messiah, but we begin to learn about his authority, his responsibilities, and the wide reach of his impact on the world right here in Psalm 2. The Hebrew word messiah is translated as the “anointed one”, the one designated by God to rule, who is set apart and anointed with oil by a representative of God, usually a prophet. The word is found about 40 times in the Old Testament, mostly in 1-2 Samuel and the Psalms, and normally used as a synonym for “king”. The Greek translation of messiah is the very familiar title, Christ.Continue reading “Drafting a Messiah Job”