A friend’s jests of my infatuation with the speaking and writing ability of D. A. Carson once led him to produce a quirky jingle he still employs on occasion this day, “Wow, I could have had a DA (I’m not sure how many will remember the V8 commercials).”
Yesterday’s offering from “For the Love of God” carries me back to a very recent post where I sought only to reconcile the hearts and attitudes of the way-people, that we at least pause a moment before lashing out with what seems only arrogant anger in defending those very difficult doctrines of our faith.
Mr. Carson weighs in in this devotional the timing of David’s writing of the 131st Psalm, whether in his youth, the victorious days of his kingship, or, as he will indicate as his preference, at the end of his life.
It is this line, “I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me” (Ps. 131:1), that has led to the differences in opinions for its dating.
Agreeing that there is some argument to be made for the “youth approach,” the devotional offers these words in defense of an elderly authorship.
Nevertheless a very young man who has not yet had the opportunity to concern himself with great matters would not be very likely to write these words—or if he did, they would sound vaguely pretentious, a bit like a pompous excuse for not tackling the tough issues. One cannot finally prove the point, but I suspect this psalm is easier to understand if it springs from the end of David’s life, after he has been humbled by such matters as Bathsheba and Uriah, and by the revolt led by his son Absalom. Humbled, less quick to imagine he alone understands, slower to take umbrage, and more impressed by the wise providence of God, David (one imagines) now quietly writes, “My heart is not proud, O LORD, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me”