Monday, 24 October 2016

Princess Bride Reference Alert!

Do you remember watching the Princess Bride?  If you do, you probably remember it fondly.  My friend in high school’s family watched it so many times they could recite it word for word. And probably still can today.  

One quote from the movie came to my mind the other day when I was reading the Psalms:
                       MAN IN BLACK
             I asked him what was so important
             for him. "True love," he replied.
             And then he spoke of a girl of
             surpassing beauty and faithfulness.
             I can only assume he meant you.
             You should bless me for destroying
             him before he found out what you
             really are.
             And what am I?
                         MAN IN BLACK
             Faithfulness he talked of, madam.
             Your enduring faithfulness. Now,
             tell me truly. When you found out
             he was gone, did you get engaged
             to your prince that same hour, or
             did you wait a whole week out of
             respect for the dead?

In the praise Psalms the writers wax lyrically of all the things they praise the Lord for and a theme you see come up and up again is God’s faithfulness; His enduring faithfulness to his people, to us as individuals and as a group.  The Man in Black is disappointed to discover that the one he thought was faithful was perhaps not.  But the Psalms seek to comfort the reader that even though they think God is not faithful, He is.
The Psalm writer often laments, even in a praise Psalm, about his own unfaithfulness towards God, others unfaithfulness towards God, and his own sin which he sees as a barrier between him and God but he always comes to the conclusion that despite all this the Lord God proves that he remains faithful to his promises toward his people.
Psalm 136 in particular tells the story of God keeping his promises to the Israelites as they escape Egypt, travel through the wilderness, and enter the Promised Land, and between each line of the poem the refrain sings “for his steadfast love endures forever”.  It’s kind of a long Psalm and so by the end the writer has repeated himself over 25 times.  When this Psalm is spoken aloud in a group setting the repeated line becomes a powerful saying which is burned into our memories.  “for his steadfast love endures forever… for his steadfast his love endures forever… for his steadfast his love endures forever”.  
Jesus also echoes the same sentiment when he speaks with his disciples (then and now) before he ascends; “I am with you always, to the end of the age”.  So if we read about the great faithfulness of someone in the Bible we can only assume they mean God.

Cue cheesy video:

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