Sunday, July 8, 2018

Cast Your Burden on the Lord

Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.
Ps 55:22
This is a lovely verse, and it's one that John Calvin in his commentary on Psalm 55 paid a great deal of attention to. Unfortunately, it's not good attention, because he's apparently quite upset about the traditional translation. But seriously, he really just needs to calm down.

Calvin insists that it's wrong to translate the first part of this verse as Cast your burden on the Lord, because the Hebrew word יהבע isn't burden, but giving or gift. Of course he has a point. יהבע isn't really burden. But it's not really giving, either. It's actually what's given, or lot. And by lot, I don't necessarily mean the kind of lots that get cast (but wouldn't that have been lovely when discussing the translation of "cast your burden..."?) in order to discern God's will in a situation, but rather lot, as in, "Misfortune is my lot in life." And in the overall meaning of this psalm, it must be admitted that what's given is, indeed, misfortune, or, I suppose, a burden

The meaning of this verse, therefore, remains as lovely as ever: Whatever your lot in life, cast it on the Lord: God will help you carry your burden. God won't ever permit a child of God to be swept away by the misfortune that surrounds them.

On the cross, dear Lord, you took my burden upon your shoulders. Help me in all situations to remember that, come what may, I need not walk alone nor is load I'm carrying mine alone, for you help me carry it. Amen.