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1 I will bless Yahweh at all times; *
his praise shall ever be in my mouth.
2 I will glory in Yahweh; *
let the humble hear and rejoice.
3 Proclaim with me the greatness of Yahweh; *
let us exalt his Name together.
4 I sought Yahweh, and he answered me *
and delivered me out of all my terror.
5 Look upon him and be radiant, *
and let not your faces be ashamed.
6 I called in my affliction and Yahweh heard me *
and saved me from all my troubles.
7 The angel of Yahweh encompasses those who fear him, *
and he will deliver them.
8 Taste and see that Yahweh is good; *
happy are they who trust in him!
19 [Many are the troubles of the righteous, *
but Yahweh will deliver him out of them all.
20 He will keep safe all his bones; *
not one of them shall be broken.
21 Evil shall slay the wicked, *
and those who hate the righteous will be punished.
22 Yahweh ransoms the life of his servants, *
and none will be punished who trust in him.]
This is the Track 1 accompanying Psalm that will be read aloud in unison or sung by a cantor on the twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost [Proper 25], Year B, according to the lectionary for the Episcopal Church. It will follow a reading from Job 42, where we are told, “The Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; and he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand donkeys. He also had seven sons and three daughters.” That pair will precede a reading from Hebrews, where Paul wrote, “Consequently [Jesus] is able for all time to save those who approach God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.” All will accompany the Gospel reading from Mark, where we read, “The blind man [Bartimaeus] said to [Jesus], “My teacher, let me see again.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.
This Psalm is read in part several times in the lectionary cycle. In three consecutive Sunday that were Proper 14, 15, and 16 this Year B cycle all twenty-two verses were sung aloud. I wrote about the meaning of the verses at those times, relating them to the accompanying Old Testament readings for those Sundays. I posted my observations on verses 1-8 last July; and that article can be read by clicking on this link. I also wrote about the ‘optional’ verses for this twenty-second Sunday, which were included in the commentary I presented about verses 15-22. That was made public last July and that article can be read by clicking on this link. Because the verses have all been explained, their truth is constant; however, the application of that truth is modified when applied to different bases. Therefore, I will now add some insight that makes this song of praise fit the theme of Job 42.
In the twenty-two verses of Psalm 34, there are sixteen times the proper name Yahweh was sung in praise, Each time the NRSV (following the model of all other translators) modified this name of David’s specific God, in whom his soul was in a loving relationship, as “the Lord.” If one calls oneself a Christian, but calls Yahweh “the Lord,” then one is lying. The reason is the truth of the identifying word “Christian” is one’s soul has been personally Anointed by Yahweh, which (by definition of the Greek) means one is a “Christ.” Yahweh can Anoint as many souls as Yahweh sees fit. Yahweh does not Anoint the souls of translation service, because they have none. So, protocol has a translation service bow down and translate “Yahweh” as “the Lord.” To admit a translation service is “the Lord” over you, causing your soul to repeat what they write, then you worship a lesser “god” than Yahweh. Nothing of merit will come from Scripture by the wise and the intelligent, who are not souls married to Yahweh (as was David), so reading “the Lord” will keep the blind always leading the blind … heading towards the pit.
It is also worthy to recall that this whole song written by David is identified as: “A Psalm of David when he pretended madness before Abimelech ; and who drove him away ; and he departed.” This is then a song about David being on the run (with his soldiers loyal to him) from Saul, when David entered the sacred tabernacle in Nob and asked the high priest to give him the showbread to feed his men. Abimelech is a name that means “My Father Is King.” There is confusion as to the actual name of the priest at Nob being Ahimelech, which means “My Brother Is King.” The twist on the name written by David changed Ahimelech to Abimelech because Yahweh (the Father) possessed His servant (who was a brother of Israel, with David) and led him to do as David requested, as the showbread was placed before Yahweh (on the Ark), for His benefit. That ‘bread of heaven’ was then given to David to feed his men with spiritual food in the form of fresh bread (it was always kept hot and fresh by the presence of Yahweh, like fresh baked), so they could continue their evasion of Saul and his army. As a side not, Ahimelech and eighty-six priests in Nob would be executed by Saul, for having helped David elude him. That makes Ahimelech be himself and his priests willing sacrifices to Yahweh for the higher cause of serving Yahweh as the Father and King, not Saul.
The lyrics of this song then praise this sacrifice, which was injustice at the hand of Saul. As an accompanying song of praise to the tests of Job, where he was unjustly tested by Satan, having done no sins that deserved painful sores all over his body, Ahimelech and his fellow servants of Yahweh were promised their souls would be cared for. Thus each verse can now be read in the light of a soul’s protection, more than the comfort of one’s human flesh.
Verse one says all souls married to Yahweh will be identified as those who “kneel before Yahweh at all times.” The Hebrew word “barak” not only means “bless,” but also “to kneel.” This is the position a soul takes in the marriage ceremony, when one’s soul is joined with Yahweh’s Spirit. That marriage then has the Word of Yahweh always coming from one’s mouth. Job spoke that way.
Verse two then sings praise for Yahweh is due to one’s sense of gladness within, which is worthy of boasting, so others will desire to be the same. This has nothing to do with self, as one’s soul is humble, in submission to Yahweh. Still, His presence will make one shout with delight. Job spoke that way.
Verse three then sings of the greatness that a single soul takes on in marriage to the divine. This is then the elevated state of being that a wife realizes, when a soul and Yahweh share the same name in marriage. That name is “Jesus,” which means “Yah[weh] Saves.” Job spoke that way.
Verse four then sings about one’s soul having sought Yahweh, leading Him to find one and establish mutual love that two will share. Job knew that love of Yahweh.
Verse five then sings about the surrender of the face of self-ego, as to wear that in the presence of one’s most holy Husband brings shame upon one’s soul. Job wore the face of Yahweh, which means it radiated as did that of Moses [the face of Yahweh glows like a halo].
Verse six then sings that every soul in a body of flesh is a poor man. All the riches of the physical realm are nothing more than the illusion of life, because when the body of flesh can no longer support a soul, all things are left behind. Those souls who realize this become seekers and cry out for Yahweh to save them. Job knew those shouts quite well.
Verse seven then sings about the “angel of Yahweh” that surrounds one’s soul-flesh. This is what makes one a Yahweh elohim, as the “angel” is the merger of Yahweh’s Spirit, which brings about the resurrection of His Son with one’s soul. It is the “angel” Jesus that says one’s price for redemption has been paid and delivered. Job 42 tells of that delivery that rewarded Job forevermore.
Verse eight then sings of the personal experience of Yahweh, which is the “taste” a soul has from His Spirit. It is this personal soul experience that brings true faith. It is that faith that allows one to trust that one’s soul has been forever saved, allowing one to enter ministry without fear. Job had this faith.
The optional verses then skip down to verse nineteen, which sings about the many afflictions that come to the righteous. Those who serve Satan are souls he no longer has to worry about leaving him, so their lives appear free of hindrances. It is the righteous, who like Job are souls married to Yahweh, who are tested in their faith. It is that faith in Yahweh that delivers them a passing grade for putting up with Satan’s unjust afflictions. Job knew that salvation.
Verse twenty then sings as a prophecy of Jesus, who had no broken bones in his persecution before death. The word translated as “bones” is [transliterated] “‘aṣ·mō·ṯāw,” stemming from “etsem,” meaning “bone, substance, self.” This means the “self” must be seen as a “soul,” where no souls joined with Yahweh in marriage will ever have that union “broken.” While the body of flesh (which includes “bones”) might find all kinds of punishments unfairly, that “self” as spirit in “substance” will never be separated or torn asunder. Once a soul is married to Yahweh, it will never find divorce possible – nor will it want to divorce. Job knew this, despite all the pains he suffered in his test of faith.
Verse twenty-one then sings of the triumph of the righteous over evil. Just as Jesus told Satan, “Away from me, Satan!,” the power of Yahweh is known by all demon spirits and evil forces. They cannot tread upon holy ground, and one’s soul-body is such earth given life magnified. Job was “blameless and upright,” who “feared elohim [demon spirits] and turned away from evil. That says evil was turned away by Yahweh within his being.
Verse twenty-two then sings of redemption, which is when one’s soul has paid all the costs of being placed in a body of flesh, in the material realm, and tempted by Satan to turn away from Yahweh. All souls released by Yahweh’s breath, set as the animating factor in death that awaits, it is usual for a soul to become dirtied by the sins of the flesh. The price to pay for those sins is repentance, which truly comes from the sacrifice of oneself [one’s soul], in submission to serving Yahweh as His wife [regardless of human gender], so one will then be tested in that sincerity of repentance. None of those souls will be returned to start over again in the flesh. All will be redeemed, with the rewards of eternal life being far greater than anything the world can offer. Job’s story tells of that wonderful return on investment.
As a standard Psalm in the Episcopal lectionary schedule, this heading must always be remembered when it comes up, partially or in whole. The aspect of Abimelech says one must be a servant of the Father, having received His high priest Jesus to guide one through all persecutions. Abimelech, as Ahimelech, would sacrifice his life in that service, allowing David to feed his soldiers the spiritual food they needed. Jesus likewise sacrificed his life in the flesh, so his soul could return into those in service like Abimelech. Job was (in my mind) the Son of Yahweh after being banished from Eden, for the purpose of being tested as the first high priest who would reflect My Father is King.
As a reading for the twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost, when one’s own personal ministry for Yahweh should already be well underway, the lesson here is to establish a close, personal relationship with Yahweh. That begins by not referring to Him as “the Lord.” Yahweh can only become one’s true “Lord” after divine marriage, when a soul is made one with His Spirit. That cannot take place when your soul has not taken steps to be on a ‘first name basis’ with Yahweh. Being able to say His name means one is “in the name of Yahweh,” which is “Jesus.” Ministry can only be done right by Jesus having been reborn within one’s soul, which is the purpose of marriage.