“You crushed the heads of Leviathan”
It is axiomatic that the timeless message of Scripture had a special relationship to the challenges of the specific age in which God’s word first entered the world. For much of the Old Testament until the exile, the main religious “competitor” to Yahweh was the pagan deity Baal. Understanding something of Baal is useful background to both events and written material.
Continue reading “Echoes of the Baal Cycle in Scripture”
The ancient context of Psalm 29
Through our 21st century, western eyes, Psalm 29 seems to be about how God shows his strength in the natural world. He thunders, he breaks cedar trees, and he sits enthroned on a flood. The psalm also contains language that is not so familiar and gives us the uneasy feeling that we possibly don’t understand it as well we might. For example, God’s voice flashes fire (v7), he makes Lebanon skip like a calf (v6), and he shakes the wilderness of Kadesh (v8) – the significance of these phrases is not obvious. By the end of the psalm we’re not sure exactly what it’s about, but are pretty comfortable that it’s somehow a declaration that God’s power is shown in dramatic weather events like thunder, lightning, and floods. Continue reading “Ascribe to Yahweh”