Friday, August 01, 2014

You thought you understood it...

Now I have heard, “Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy” [Psalm 126:5] applied to prayer. The ideas is that if you pray sincerely enough, weeping, that the weeping will make your prayer more effective. However, I do not think that is what is being talked about at all. I think you and I ought to be sincere in prayer, but the key to interpreting this psalm is in the linkage between sow and tears. When you sow, your interest is tomorrow, not today. And the probabilities are that when you sow, your interest is in somebody beyond yourself. But when my circumstances go wrong, I do not want to think about the future; I want to forget all about it. The last thing I am interested in is spending what energy I have left thinking about something way down the road and preparing for it. Despair makes you captive to the moment. But the psalmist says, when despair comes, don’t let it capture you; keep thinking about tomorrow and planning. He does not say to stop weeping; but he does say not to let the weeping prevent you from sowing in faith for the future.— Lectures in Old Testament Theology, page 437

<idle musing>
Vintage Kinlaw. As I've said before, he had a way of taking something we had read a hundred times and then getting us to see it in a new—and more accurate—way.
</idle musing>

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