What the congregation wants to achieve through the cult, and what the 'power' from God is to create, is life - in the most comprehensive sense of the word, from the fundamental material need: rain, sun, fertility, the continuation of the race, the strength and victory of the child, and so on, up to the spiritual, religious and ethical values that are the lifeblood of the society - life for everything that belongs to its 'world.' The Israelites expressed the same idea by the word 'blessing'. Blessing is to be created, increased, and secured through the cult; the office of the priest is to 'bless in Yahweh's name'. Both life and blessing have their ultimate source in the deity.
Monday, 1 March 2010
The purpose of the Israelite cult
S. Mowinckel, The Psalms in Israel's Worship, 18. You can read the whole of the first two chapters here.