Voices from Beyond

shepherdYes, receiving communication from someone long dead is possible. You have almost certainly done it. I’m not talking about some occult experience—there are no ouji boards, fortune tellers, conjurers, or mediums involved. Have you read something written by Dickens, Shakespeare, Chaucer, Samuel Pepys, King David? They’re all dead, you know. Yet it is possible to gain insight into their personalities through the written legacy they left to all of us.
Most of us have read or will read the classics in school without spending much time considering the emotions that drove the author to put pen to paper—or quill to papyrus. Nevetheless, the insight is there, waiting to be harvested. Give it a try sometime. Take the very famous 23rd Psalm, for example. It is a familiar piece of scripture, literature, poetry often recited at funerals. David was a humble shepherd boy, in a time and place where herding sheep had all the social status of a modern day garbage collector. David’s first claim to fame occurred when he faced and defeated the Philistine giant Goliath. After David married Princess Michal, he became a fugitive. Mad King Saul was insanely jealous of his son-in-law, relentlessly pursuing him for years with the sole objective of ending his life.
David’s response? He ran, he fought, and he wrote poetry. Yes, the Psalms are Hebrew poetry, sung in praise just as we might set a poem to music today and sing our hearts out. If I think about David’s life on the run, reading the 23rd Psalm takes on the richness of an ex-shepherd’s assurance he is being looked after with the same dedication he once lavished on his flock. Who would care for this fugitive? “The Lord is my shepherd…”
Many other Davidic Psalms reflect the inner thoughts of a man now dead more than three millennia. How did he feel after his infamous affair with Bathsheba was exposed? Psalm 51. What were his thoughts about his relationship to God? There are many choices, but I like Psalm 139. Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, though he is dead David still speaks.

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