Monday, November 16, 2009

The Poetry of Prophecy

One of the pleasures of spending time with scripture -- real time, making the words and phrases into your friends -- is beginning to recognize the sheer poetic genius of the text.

How would you describe the assault of myriad enemies upon you? What metaphors would you use?

The psalmist (118) compares them to angry bees. (dvrm), surrounding and encirling him (sevev). Anyone who has ever been surrounded by a swarm of bees, or hornets, instantly understands the sheer terror of such an attack -- and that you cannot employ normal weapons to defeat it. The comparison is perfect.

What is the solution? The Psalmist draws his strength from the name of God. And when do we invoke the name of God? In prayer, at baptism, in the Sacrament and when administering a blessing. That is when the power of God scatters the assaults of our spiritual enemies.

1 comment:

Clifford said...

I discovered today that the same word - sevev - is also used in a more benign context, in describing the four rivers that proceeded from the Garden of Eden, "encircling" various lands.