Psalm 81 (NRSV)
1 Sing aloud to God our strength;
shout for joy to the God of Jacob.
2 Raise a song, sound the tambourine,
the sweet lyre with the harp.
3 Blow the trumpet at the new moon,
at the full moon, on our festal day.
4 For it is a statute for Israel,
an ordinance of the God of Jacob.
5 He made it a decree in Joseph,
when he went out over the land of Egypt.
I hear a voice I had not known:
6 “I relieved your shoulder of the burden;
your hands were freed from the basket.
7 In distress you called, and I rescued you;
I answered you in the secret place of thunder;
I tested you at the waters of Meribah.Selah
8 Hear, O my people, while I admonish you;
O Israel, if you would but listen to me!
9 There shall be no strange god among you;
you shall not bow down to a foreign god.
10 I am the Lord your God,
who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.
© Hilary F. Marckx, all rights reserved
I answered you in the
SECRET PLACE OF THUNDER,
But for us
we now know where that place is—
that secret place of thunder—
with our over-abundant knowledge of science,
we may find it difficult to be
by the inherent mystery
in this now transparent metaphor.
What are the
metaphors that would work best for you?
I like the poetic nature of Asaph’s words
(he wrote the psalm),
but I have studied enough
to not be mystified by the allusion.
“I have answered you
from that secret place
where the winds of
and worlds of being.”
Wordy but poetic,
and containing mystery.
Still, from what
secret, mysterious, wonder-filled
does Divinity speak to you
and remind you
has been lifted,
have been freed?
What does the voice
you have not
when is it
that you hear it?