No one praises you from the grave

Salluz

You mean we can change these titles?
Since I haven't been here for a while, the bible study q&a looks a little bland without my colorful avatar being the one that started half the posts :lol I'll have to do something about that.

This is one I've been caught up on for a while now. Looking at the story of the rich man and Lazarus, even before the cross we see people conscious after death whether in torment or paradise. After the cross, Paul said "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord."

My hang up comes from the myriad of times I have been reading people say in the old testament "Among the dead no one proclaims your name. Who praises you from the grave?" Why not?

I understand that the resurrection is of the utmost importance, and that death is only a temporary state for believers, and that God is the "God of the living" and not the dead. By why can no one praise God in the meantime? That doesn't make sense to me, so I'm thinking there must be some other way to interpret that common saying to make it consistent with other passages. Thoughts?
 

DanLMP

Well-Known Member
My hang up comes from the myriad of times I have been reading people say in the old testament "Among the dead no one proclaims your name. Who praises you from the grave?" Why not?
Just spitballing, but the dead being referred to might be the dead that didn't get to be with God.
 

DanLMP

Well-Known Member
From the Blue Letter Bible, a commentary by David Guzik:

c. In death there is no remembrance of You: It would be wrong to take these agonized words of David as evidence that there is no life beyond this life. The Old Testament has a shadowy understanding of the world beyond. Sometimes it shows a clear confidence (Job 19:25), and sometimes it has the uncertainty David shows here.


i. "Churchyards are silent places; the vaults of the sepulcher echo not with songs. Damp earth covers dumb mouths." (Spurgeon)


ii. 2 Timothy 2:10 says that Jesus brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. The understanding of the after-life was murky at best in the Old Testament; but Jesus let us know more about heaven and hell than anyone else could. Jesus could do this because He had first-hand knowledge of the world beyond.


iii. David's point isn't to present a comprehensive theology of the world beyond. He is in agony, fearing for his life, and he knows he can remember God and give Him thanks now. He doesn't have the same certainty about the world beyond, so he asks God to act according to his certainty.


iv. "At rare moments the Psalms have glimpses of rescue from Sheol, in terms that suggest resurrection, or a translation like that of Enoch or Elijah (c.f. 16:10; 17:15; 49:15; 73:24)." (Kidner)

Source: BLB
 

Salluz

You mean we can change these titles?
Thanks, Dan, for the response, but I'm still not quite satisfied and would like to hear more. Ive been mulling it over in the meantime.

In terms of the context for the psalm, the psalmist is asking for God to save him and citing not being able to praise God from the grave as the reason (almost sounds like threatening God to me?), so I don't think the psalmist would consider himself an unbeliever... and even during Jesus' first coming, there was a hot button debate happening between people who believed in the resurrection and the Sadducees (is that how you spell that?) that didn't.. so going off of both the passage in Job your article mentioned and the debate about the resurrection, it's clear that faithful people did know that God would resurrect them to eternal life.

Maybe they just didn't have specifics about paradise until Jesus explained it? So they were concerned about the whole "soul sleep" thing we hear about sometimes... But I find that doesn't sit well with me either. Maybe that just comes from knowing as a Christian what's in store as soon as we die "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord"
 
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