US Senator Edward Kennedy died at age 77.
1Master, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.
2Before the mountains were brought forth, or you had ever formed the land and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, you are god.
3You turn man to destruction; and say, Return, you sons of men.
4For 1,000 years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.
5The span of their life will be as a sleep; in the morning they are like grass which changes.
6In the morning, it flourishes and grows up; in the evening, it is cut down and withers.
7For we are consumed by your anger, and by your wrath, we are troubled.
8You have set our iniquities before you, the sins of our youth, in the light of your countenance.
9For all our days are passed away in your wrath; we spend our years in emptiness.
10The years of our lives are 70; and if by reason of strength they be 80 years, yet most of them are labor and sorrow; for life is soon cut off and we fly away.
11Who knows the power of your anger and the fear of your wrath?
12So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.
13Return, Yahvah. How long? Would you not comfort your servants?
14Satisfy us early with your mercy, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
15Make us glad because our wickedness is dead, and the years in which we have seen affliction.
16Let your work appear to your servants, and your glory to their sons.
17And let the beauty of our master god be on us; for the work of his hands made us, yes, he made us by the work of his hands.
Kennedy died of brain cancer which had been diagnosed in 2008. He died over night, a few hours ahead of theoretical for this Psalm, the family released a brief notice in the morning.
Kennedy was known around the world, but had a political career full of tragedy.
Limits imposed by age itself seemed to be the only thing that brought respectable behavior to the man.
Kennedy was born into a Roman Catholic family in 1932, the son of a banker, ambassador and political wannabe Joseph Kennedy Sr. Joseph Kennedy was the first of 3 Kennedy generations that together would form a modern replay of the life of Joseph, the Prime Minister of ancient Egypt. That period ended with the death of JFK Jr off Martha's Vineyard in 1999. The faith and longevity of the Kennedy clan is hinted at in verse 1 and 2 of this Psalm.
Verse 3 indicates that destruction of men comes from God himself, and this suggests the many tragedies, including 2 brothers assassinated and the war-time loss of a 3rd were caused by God himself. The verse also indicates that this wrath comes because men fail to turn to God. The Kennedy clan in particular suffered these losses because of a failure to follow God.
Kennedy was not the longest served US Senator, but was close, having been first elected in 1962. Verse 4 and 5 equate long amounts of time, even 1000 years, to be as a day, or as a watch in the night. Government service, as found in Ted Kennedy and the Kennedy clan is like standing watch for the army, a term used in verse 4.
Verse 6 equates death to being cut down in the evening. Kennedy died in the evening, a match. This provides the explanation as to why his death was not closer to the theoretical time for this Psalm.
Verse 7 reinforces that God's wrath came because of God's anger. Kennedy has always been associated with the tax-and-slave-making liberal wing of the Democratic party.
Verse 8 mentions the "sins of youth" of with Kennedy seemed never to grow out of.
Verse 9 suggests why Kennedy's sin patterns seemed never to go away, his whole life was in emptiness, never able to grow as a man and take the office of President.
Verse 10 provides one of the standard verses that bound the life length of people today, 70 normally, 80 if someone is strong. Kennedy died at age 77, which suggest some strength. This is one of the strong matches that tie Kennedy to this Psalm.
Verse 11 asks who knows the fear of his anger and wrath. The answer of course is someone who has died and faces the judgment, as does Kennedy now.
Verse 12 turns to the application of this Psalm. Knowing that we have but a short time, and that when life eventually ends it will have been a very short time, how are we to live? By numbering each day, and using them for right purposes in God's eyes.
The rest of the Psalm goes on and exhorts the reader to do better, to not live a life that is constantly under God's wrath, as was Kennedy and the rest of his clan.