“Then the man,
Clothed in linen,
With the writing case
At his side,
Brought back word.
‘I have done
As you commanded me.’”
The man with the writing case at his side said that he was finished with his task of finding people who cared about the terrible situation in Jerusalem. He had marked all those who were to be saved, just as Yahweh had told him to do.
“My days pass away like smoke.
My bones burn like a furnace.
My heart is stricken.
My heart is withered like grass.
I am too wasted to eat my bread.
Because of my loud groaning
My bones cling to my flesh.
I am like an owl of the wilderness.
I am like a little owl of the waste places.
I lie awake.
I am like a lonely bird on the housetop.
All day long my enemies taunt me.
Those who deride me
Use my name for a curse.
I eat ashes like bread.
I mingle tears with my drink.
Because of your indignation and anger,
You have lifted me up,
You have thrown me aside.
My days are like an evening shadow.
I wither away like grass.”
This psalmist is in a terrible situation. His days are passing away like smoke. His bones are burning. His heart is broken and withering like grass. He cannot even eat. His bones are clinging to his skin since he is all skin and bones. He is like an owl or a lonely bird since he cannot sleep. His enemies taunt him every day as they use his name as a curse word. He eats ashes instead of bread. He drinks his own tears. Yahweh seems to be angry and indignant as he has been thrown aside. His days are like evening shadows and withering grass. He is in over all bad shape.
“My heart is in anguish within me.
The terrors of death have fallen upon me.
Fear and trembling come upon me.
Horror overwhelms me.
‘O that I had wings like a dove!
I would fly away.
I would be at rest.
I would flee far away.
I would lodge in the wilderness.”
David was in anguish. He feared death. Fear and trembling came over him as horror overwhelmed him. This concept of fear and trembling became a major concept and the name of a writing of the 19th century theologian or philosopher Soren Kierkegaard. David finally said that he wished that he was a dove that could fly away. He wanted to rest somewhere far away where no one knew him. He would love to live in the wilderness. This idea of flight from a problem is still common today. We like to get away from our problems. This section ended with the musical interlude meditative pause, Selah.