Letters written to God often begin with honest self-expression of what bothers us expressed strongly. And yet, in my own letters after such an initial focus on trouble, I find a shift toward perspective and gratitude. After all, if God is the source of life’s goodness, I am reminded that I should not take for granted the goodness in my life as well.
Psalm 144 begins with the familiar anxiety of the dangers that the Psalmist faces, in particular lying enemies. And yet, the Psalm ends with celebration of bounty, whether the well-being of the young or the abundance of crops and flocks, and ends with the joy of having Adonai as God.
Some modern Bible scholars view this Psalm as the original end of the final book, as Psalms 145-150 are a unit marked by Halleluyah. If so, the trajectory of the Psalms is from “happy is the person who has not walked in the counsel of the wicked,” culminating with “happy is the people when Adonai is their God.”
Please join me for Psalm 144 as we honor Michael Natelson.