Audrey's Reviews > A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society

A Long Obedience in the Same Direction by Eugene H. Peterson
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Apr 15, 2011

it was amazing
Read in July, 2011

A marvelous book dealing with the Psalms of Ascent (Psalms 120-134). I first studied the Psalms of Ascent in a Beth Moore Bible study entitled "Stepping Up." Beth quoted Peterson several times and I knew I would love to read his book and, sure enough, it has really added a lot of enrichment to my understanding and enjoyment of these Psalms. Peterson can really expose the Scriptures in a way that causes one to enter right into them and live within them. Psalm 120 began with the theme of repentence - a turning away from the world and a turning toward God .. the initial step we take in beginning the great adventure of our life in Christ. Psalms 121-133 lead us to discover and experience new truths and illuminating insights and, in the words of Peterson, "we have found that the world in which these psalms were sung is a world of adventure and challenge, of ardor and meaning." Psalm 134 caps it off by calling us to bless the Lord. Often it's the hardest thing to do when life's difficulties crowd in on us, but if we assume the posture - "lift your praising hands to the Holy Place and bless God" - we receive in return God's blessing. An invitation and a command - we are where are in life because God has blessed us. Now we bless God! Peterson reminds us that the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. "Or in the vocabulary of Psalm 134, "Bless God."

It would be wonderful if every Christ follower could read Peterson's chapter on Psalm 133 - Community. Some of us have, at some time or other during our lifetime, been disillusioned and hurt by the church, which forms the community of believers in Christ. Allow me to share just a few of Peterson's wonderful thoughts and insights on Community. "Psalm 133 brings out two poetic images that provide insights into how we can develop good and delightful relationships in the family of God - oil and dew. Oil throughout the Scripture is a sign of God's presence, a symbol of the Spirit of God. Oil glistens, picks up the warmth of sunlight, softens the skin, perfumes the person. Just as the oil anointed Aaron as priest in the Bible, so living together in harmony means seeing the oil flow over the head, down the face, through the beard, onto the shoulders of the other - and when I see that, I know that my brother, my sister, is my priest. When we see the other as God's anointed, our relationships are profoundly affected." Then, the dew from Mount Hermon - "copious dew, fresh and nurturing in the drier barren Judean country. The alpine dew communicates a sense of morning freshness, a feeling of fertility, a clean anticipation of growth. A community of faith flourishes when we view each other with this expectancy, wondering what God will do in this one, in that one. When we are in community with those Christ loves and redeems, we are constantly finding out new things about them. They are new persons each morning, endless in their possibilities. We explore the fascinating depths of their friendship, share the secrets of their quest. It is impossible to be bored in such a community, impossible to feel alienated among such people. Oil and dew. The two things that make life together delightful. Where relationships are warm and expectancies fresh, we are already beginning to enjoy the life together that will be completed in our life everlasting. Assemble in your imagination all the friends you enjoy being with most, the companions who evoke the deepest joy, your most stimulating relationships, the most delightful of shared experiences, the people with whom you are completely alive - that is a hint at heaven, for there God commands the blessing, ordains eternal life."

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read A Long Obedience in the Same Direction.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.