- Abundant salvation and generosity -
The Odes of Solomon are a treasure for anyone who likes hymns. I commend their lyrics to music-lovers like my mother-in-law, Wilma Pickrell, who is visiting from California with my father-in-law, John. Scholars like James Charlesworth, who translated this edition, describe them as the “earliest Christian hymn book” (dated between AD 100-200).
There are 42 odes attributed to Solomon, though it’s impossible for us to trace their origin back to the son of David. However, Solomon did write two of the Psalms in the Scriptures: Psalm 72 and Psalm 127. Today’s post brings “abundance” into view in my favorite for Eastertide, the season of joy, is Ode 15. My comments along with a Scripture from Solomon follow below.
“As the sun is the joy of them who seek its daybreak, so is my joy the Lord; Because He is my sun, and His rays have lifted me up; and His light has dismissed all darkness from my face. Eyes I have obtained in Him, and have seen His holy day. Ears I have acquired, and have heard His truth. The thought of knowledge I have acquired, and have enjoyed delight fully through Him. I repudiated the way of error, and went towards Him and received salvation from Him abundantly. And according to His generosity He gave to me, and according to His excellent beauty He made me. I put on immortality through His name, and took off corruption by His grace. Death has been destroyed before my face, and Sheol has been vanquished by my word. And eternal life has arisen in the Lord’s land, and it has been declared to His faithful ones, and has been given without limit to all that trust in Him. Hallelujah.”
Praise be to the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone does marvelous deeds. Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen. Psalm 72:18-19
It’s fascinating to find that Lactantius (c. 250-325), the advisor to Emperor Constantine and tutor to his son, cited The Odes of Solomon in his writings. That means that into the fourth century, lyrics such as these were likely sung by followers of Christ. But what does this ode have to do with generosity?
The lyrics motivate us to live, give, serve, and love others because of abundant salvation and generosity of our God. It reveals in a word that generosity is a response, a worshipful response to the realization of that all we have received from our risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Celebrate today that resurrection life of Jesus is “given without limit to all that trust in Him!”
kurios M firstname.lastname@example.org
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