Yahweh is my shepherd

The God of the Bible is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; that is the God of the Covenant, or a God who freely binds himself to the welfare of mankind through the mediation of Abraham’s progeny… In Genesis 2 there is only one effective cause, the power of God, through which the heaven and earth and everything on earth has been formed.  Yahweh God is an exclusive source of effectiveness.  He is not challenged or complemented by any force or principle.  He is the sole and supreme Lord of all.  For all the primitiveness of the world picture of Genesis 2, it exudes a clear atmosphere undisturbed by what turns all other ancient cosmogonies into dark and dispirited confusion : the infighting among the gods and lurking in the background of an irreconcilable split between spirit and matter, good and evil.

This is not to suggest that Genesis 2 ignores evil in individual or collective history.  Yet the snake, the symbolic instigator of evil, is itself utterly dependent for its existence upon Yahweh God, and so is man who is seduced into defying God’s dictate.  Evil, unlike in most other cosmogonies, is here strictly circumscribed in its power and extent by God’s sovereignty and goodness…

When almost three millennia after the composition by David of Psalm 23, Kant spoke of it as the most comforting page in the Bible, he merely echoed an already hallowed sentiment…

Yahweh is my shepherd,
I lack nothing.
In the meadows of green grass he lets me lie.
To the waters of repose he leads me;
there he revives my soul.
He guides me by paths of virtue
for the sake of his name.
Though I pass through a gloomy valley,
I fear no harm;
beside me your rod and your staff
are there, to hearten me.
You prepare a table before me
under the eyes of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil,
my cup brims over.
Ah, how goodness and kindness pursue me,
every day of my life;
my home, the house of Yahweh,
as long as I live !

Extract from Science and Creation, S. L. Jaki, pp.129-131


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