Friday, December 4, 2009

Crushed Bones Rejoice

The Bible verse that Asherel, my daughter, and I looked at this morning gave us pause.
The psalmist speaking to God says ,"Let the bones you have crushed rejoiced." (Psalm 51:8)
Asherel looked at me a little worriedly.
"Why do you think the Psalmist is rejoicing with crushed bones?" I asked her.
"That is what I was wondering," she replied.
"Wait, it gets scarier. Who crushed the rejoicing bones?"
Neither of us were particularly thrilled to conclude that it was God that crushed the bones.
Now, there is an obvious answer here to why the psalmist is rejoicing. He is a masochist. Either that, or there must be a greater purpose to those crushed bones that causes him to wax poetic in joy and praise. The former interpretation does not sit well with my understanding of God's ways, so we dug in to see if we could find out why God was crushing bones, and why someone was celebrating it.
As so frequently happens, the study fit in perfectly with very recent events. We both understood what it felt like to fail God and others, and then to feel the heavy weight of guilt that led to remorse and repentance. We both could identify with the lifting of spirit and even rejoicing when we righted a wrong we had been responsible for. Neither of us were particularly excited about the need for our bones to be crushed for us to turn our eyes to the one who knitted our bones together in the first place. However, we could understand the Psalmist's conclusion:
"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." Psalm 51:10

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