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Psalm 31:9-16 - Begging for mercy when you don't really think you need it

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9 Have mercy on me, Yahweh, for I am in trouble; *

my eye is consumed with sorrow, and also my throat and my belly.

10 For my life is wasted with grief, and my years with sighing; *

my strength fails me because of affliction, and my bones are consumed.

11 I have become a reproach to all my enemies and even to my neighbors,

a dismay to those of my acquaintance; *

when they see me in the street they avoid me.

12 I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind; *

I am as useless as a broken pot.

13 For I have heard the whispering of the crowd; fear is all around; *

they put their heads together against me; they plot to take my life.

14 But as for me, I have trusted in you, Yahweh. *

I have said, "You are elohay.

15 My times are in your hand; *

rescue me from the hand of my enemies, and from those who persecute me.

16 Make your face to shine upon your servant, *

and in your loving-kindness save me."


This is the Psalm that will be read aloud in unison or sung by a cantor (inside the nave), after a congregation has met outside the inner sanctuary of a church, holding palm spears and reciting in precession verses from Psalm 118. Here is when they begin to go brain-numb from having reached their maximum normal Sunday allowance of readings, with still many more minutes of readings to come, before wondering, “Now I remember why I only go to church a couple of times a year!” They have shown up on Palm-Passion Sunday because there is no sermon; but, they show up having forgotten how dreadfully long the service is.

In March 2021 I posted this commentary on this selection from Psalm 31. That was when this same Psalm selection was part of the Year B schedule of readings. This Psalm selection is read every Passion Sunday, in Years A, B, and C. It is not read at any other time in the lectionary schedule; so, because no sermon will ever be preached on a Sunday when the Episcopalian ‘twelve minute rule’ has already been broken by reading aloud half the New Testament (well, almost two chapters of Luke in Year C), nobody’s brain is capable of focusing on religious thought. Like everything about finding true Salvation for a soul … it is best done alone, without allowing any church to get in the way, mucking everything up.

I have come to the conclusion that the reason Christians allow their English translation service to change “Yahweh” to “the Lord” and “elohay” to “our God” is because they do not want to ever accept a Jewish dedication to scriptural memorization. Christians would much rather learn five sets of verse and chorus from a popular song book: example being Silent Night or Old Time Religion (where scripture has been aborted by some songwriter that never understood any meaning to scripture), than to memorize one hundred fifty psalms, divinely inspired by David (and maybe others) – In Hebrew – because that would take away from so much party time in life (by whatever means one calls ‘partying’). So, even though most modern Jews know some Yiddish and pretend to be closer to God because of extensive early education in religious scripture, Christians want to be known for being dumb as stumps, while superior because the Jews rejected Jesus.

This Psalm selection is chosen to be sung aloud on Passion Sunday, because the Passion (a word meaning “suffering,” not sexual rubbing) never is about Jesus. It is repeated year after year because of all the new souls that need to be “Suffering” like David wrote of them all begging for forgiveness. Those who only show up at some Christian church to be entertained a few times a year will find their souls in this position one day … because ALL MORTALS DIE. Bodies of flesh do not beg for forgiveness. Souls do.

As a song of lament and begging for forgiveness (something David did later in life, but Jesus never did) to be read aloud on Passion Sunday, the point is to foresee your own worthless soul facing your inevitable death and have a ‘come to Jesus’ talk with Yahweh [learn his name you lazy sinner!]. Learn that when David sang, “I have said, “You are my gods,” that truly means Yahweh says to His ‘angels in the flesh’ – His elohim – “You trusted in Me, when you became extensions of Me on earth … as Yahweh elohim. An “elohim” is only going to receive the Salvation of eternal life. Party hardy you fools and find this truth out when you miserable end times come. Then prostrate your souls before Yahweh and explain to Him why you never had time to serve Him in life. Now is the time to practice being sincere with you future answer … in tears … knowing something bleak is going to be your Judgment.

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