Psalm: G-d of Emptiness

by bobbyrayhurd

One of my favorite bands call themselves Morbid Angel. They are widely considered to be the forefathers of the death metal sub-genre. They are older and successful enough now that they have lost some of what initially attracted me to their music– the hunger of youth rebellion to know something truthful that leads them to repent of the images of G-d they inherited. In a song they wrote called, “God of Emptiness” they confront the images of G-d they have known. Not only do they find them exceedingly insufficient, but they even go as far as opening themselves up to being considered blasphemous in order to address their feelings on the matter. For this courage, I’ve admired them. And so, to the extent they take their willingness to speak honestly about the idols Christians often worship, they have inspired me.

Furthermore, and even more personally, “God of Emptiness” freed me to stand vulnerable in the presence of G-d and be angry– not angry in an arrogant sense (which all too many metalheads succumb to), but in a sense that makes space for me to stand challenging the images of G-d I have inherited, to be angry with those images, repent of them, and then finally recover from them restored to the image of the G-d who drew me near through this wandering. In a moment where your limited images of G-d are all you have…in a moment when you stand amidst your images of G-d and find they are demons, you will find yourself screaming at them, cursing them, and possibly saying something offensive to many.  I’ve come to the conclusion that these actions are not blasphemous–they are the divine process of transformation, G-d speaking healing into your brokenness, and providing for you repentance.

God of Emptiness

With all oppression of this world and
All the glory you receive, I
Cannot help but stop to think
But of gall the bread of your table…
And of wormwood the cup you drink

God of emptiness
God of blind leading the blind
You do not lead wandering through the desert
But a journey maligned

With all the kingdoms of this world and
All the glory you receive…
What makes you supreme?
Lies! And Your crown is falling!
You offer fantasy!
And so you, oh god of kingdoms, are blinded by your envy!

God of emptiness
God of Caesars disguised as lambs
You offer no remission…or repentance
But sustain a cycle of what’s damned

God of emptiness
God of whom I cannot confess
You devour my very soul
so I will be like you– in emptiness