Pastor spoke this morning on dealing with our emotions. Good sermon.

I’ve been called emotional, more often than I’d like, and it always makes me think, because I don’t think of myself as emotional compared to what I call emotional.

Emotional means prone to acting on ones emotions. I don’t do that. However, I do tend to let my emotions show through, sometimes in flashing neon. Still, I don’t let my emotions dictate my actions. (Well, almost never.)

I’ve always considered emotions as integral. Emotions are simply part of what we are as humans, as individuals. I’ve never seen sense in trying to deny emotions, or be Vulcan (as in Star Trek). Emotions are what they are, and there just isn’t much ruling of them. Logic must have the final say, but there is nothing logical about pretending emotions aren’t real, powerful, and generally dominant until we think things through. Actions must be ruled by reason, but emotions just happen. I’ve always known that, and I’ve always tried to get the logic involved before the emotions get control of the actions. I’ve always considered myself good at it, but of course you should check with disinterested third parties. 🙂

Back to Pastor’s sermon, he read Psalms 137 for us.

Start by listening to this Lamb song:

I do hope you’ve taken the five and a half minutes to listen. Not only is it an excellent song, it very much conveys the emotion and mode I want to start with.

The psalm recounts deep remorse for the loss of Jerusalem. The psalmist weeps for home and bemoans the demands of their captors for mirth and the songs of Zion. From the song, “How can we sing when joy is gone?”

The psalmist changes the mode entirely as he calls for vengeance.

How Shall We Sing the LORD’s Song?

1By the waters of Babylon,
there we sat down and wept,
when we remembered Zion.
2On the willowsa there
we hung up our lyres.
3For there our captors
required of us songs,
and our tormentors, mirth, saying,
“Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”

4How shall we sing the LORD’s song
in a foreign land?
5If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
let my right hand forget its skill!
6Let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth,
if I do not remember you,
if I do not set Jerusalem
above my highest joy!

7Remember, O LORD, against the Edomites
the day of Jerusalem,
how they said, “Lay it bare, lay it bare,
down to its foundations!”
8O daughter of Babylon, doomed to be destroyed,
blessed shall he be who repays you
with what you have done to us!
9Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones
and dashes them against the rock!

 

Note the psalmist holds back nothing. The horrid pain of remorse turns to the horrid anger of unthinkable violence.

To emphasize the point, here are a few more translations of that last verse:

New International Version
Happy is the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.

King James Bible
Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.

NET Bible
How blessed will be the one who grabs your babies and smashes them on a rock!

GOD’S WORD® Translation
Blessed is the one who grabs your little children and smashes them against a rock.

Young’s Literal Translation
O the happiness of him who doth seize, And hath dashed thy sucklings on the rock!

Again, emotions are what they are. Good thing Jesus told us to turn the other cheek! Reason must step in. We must summon our sense of mercy and compassion and do better.  We cannot condone escalation of vengeance. It leads to nothing good.

Still, there it is. Don’t pretend such things aren’t in the bible, because they are.

Study to show thyself approved. Don’t go check out a book like, Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible (John Haley), and think you are an expert. First, I’ve never come across those that were competent. Don’t forget the internet makes finding the arguments very easy. There are several organizations and web sites devoted to directly addressing the difficulties and showing them to not make sense. There are also those dedicated to making fun or simply deriding. So, don’t put yourself in a position to be worthy of the derision; especially if it is simply a matter of letting your emotions get the better of you.

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