Thursday, October 08, 2009

A canonical reading of Psalms

So, as some folk know reading things in light of where they are in the canon is sometimes seen as a repudiation of textual criticism and part of a slippery slope toward literalism, fundamentalism, and ultimately primordial nihilistic chaos. Others simply think we've got these darn things in the order we do for a reason--because someone thought they made sense there.
Well, as I read the psalms in the morning and the evening I was recently struck by the placement of Psalm 88 and 89. Psalm 88 is kinda a downer, ending "My friend and my neighbor you have put away from me, and darkness is my only companion."
Then, the very next words we have, in Psalm 89 are, "Your love, O LORD, forever will I sing; from age to age my mouth will proclaim your faithfulness."
I guess, I like how these two psalms are placed one next to the other--the tension of abandonment and the promise that God will never abandon the house of David is kind of beautiful.