art bible christianity theology

i wonder…

I wonder if Psalm 80 wasn’t a favourite of the particularly zealous 1st century Jews who would have been pleased to see the Romans overthrown by a long hoped-for military Messiah? ((Not all 1st century Jews were militant – i.e. Hillel)) I can imagine this Psalm being sung in the Synagogues of the day… and I can imagine John the Baptist – and later, Jesus – countering their use of Psalm 80 with his own use of Isaiah 5! ((See Matthew 3 and Luke 3))

I also wonder if Psalm 91 was another favourite? I can imagine it being sung – and expounded – in Synagogues. ((or perhaps more whispered in less public gatherings?)) Surely the revolt against Rome would be God-sanctioned and God-sheltered! I can imagine Jesus being tempted in the desert ((Scorcese’s ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’ has a brilliant scene along these lines)) by this kind of ‘firm belief’ ((reference to Jars of Clay lyric from ‘Oh My God’; ‘You take away my firm belief, and graft my soul upon your grief.’)), and countering it with the Torah. His messianic path was one that led not to a violent take-over, but to the Cross.