I love the Message translation of the Bible for fresh perspectives on the narratives in the Old Testament. It really brings new life to old, familiar stories. However, I must say that the Message translation leaves lots to be desired in the translation of the Psalms. It pretty much destroys the poetical language.
I tend to laugh instead of focusing on the meaning. Remember these are songs to sing. I have a habit of trying to imagine using the lyrics in worship. This could be why the giggling is such an issue.
Try this out:
Ps. 3:7, "Up, God! My God, help me! Slap their faces, First this cheek, then the other, Your fist hard in their teeth." Chris Tomlin try that one out for size....dare you to work that into a worship song!
Or how about Ps. 1:1, "How well God must like you - you don't hang out at Sin Saloon, you don't slink along Dead-End Road, you don't go to Smart Mouth College." That's the best translation of that you can come up with...Smart Mouth College? Seriously.....that doesn't even read well. I don't think I could read that aloud in a worship service.....I couldn't read it out loud with Shawn during our quiet time without laughing.
I tend to giggle my way through my quiet time as I try to picture the band setting these lyrics to music and using them in worship. I think I will stick to NLT for the Psalms, thanks. I miss the poeticism.
But on a serious note, I did like the translations of Ps. 5: 1-3, "Listen, God! Please pay attention! Can you make sense of these ramblings, my groans and cries? King-God, I need your help. Every morning you'll hear me at it again. Every morning I lay out the pieces of my life on the altar and watch for fire to descend."
I love this thought that daily I have to re-offer my life to God. Not because God needs a fresh committment, but because I need a fresh reminder. Every day I need to sacrifice my life, my desires for God's dreams and desires for my life. And I like that sense of expectation. As I lay my life down, I wait for God to consume it and use me. I expect His presence. Very beautiful thought to me.
I also really liked vs. 11, "But You'll welcome us with open arms when we run for cover to You."
At the end of the day, when I go pick Abby up at daycare, she comes running toward me full blast with her little arms held out to me. I scoop her up into my arms and hug her tightly. I like that picture of God holding open His arms to me...waiting for me to come running.
So some good stuff .... just have to wade through the yucky language to find the beautiful passages. Who knows, by the time I finish the Psalms....I may be much less critical of this particular translation.