Lectionary Year A
April 7, 2002
Psalm 16

Step II: Disposition

A. Genre

(JFC) This poetic affirmation of faith avows how the Psalmist and/or those who recite its lines rely on, trust and appreciate God. It insists God's abundant providence sustains him. He speaks both to God in praise and about God about divine bounty. He also refers to those outside God's people and how they suffer because of their idolatry. He refers to the gift of the land, so large a concept in ancient Israel. All these topics he seems to relate right naturally under an umbrella of praise and fidelity.

B. Personal Interaction

(JFC) My first question wants to know how personally closely related with humans the Psalmist feels his God is. And, how 'bout the "saints in the land"? Are they well-known to be saints or does this terminology arise from the Psalmist's judgment? Or, is he being sarcastic here? Some of the same questions occur relative to the idolaters. Are they widely recognizable or merely figments of the Psalmist's perception? And, is the final verse's positivism emphatic enough to make its point? Some of the alternatives between positivism and negativism seem to interrupt some of the flow of the poem; could they be smoother if they were all more closely stated, like verses 5, 6, 9 and 11 be read together and verses 4 and maybe 10 be read one after the other? Just a thought. Perhaps these questions come from reading this Psalm so few times so far and they will get answers as the study progresses. We'll see.

C. Organization

(JFC) The question, re: God's imminent sovereignty comes in verse 1f and 10f. God's intimacy is only hoped for in verses 2, 5b, 7f and 10f. The "saints in the land" are mentioned in verse 3, the idolaters in verse 4 and the final verse is number eleven.

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