# 103 A journey through the Psalms. Psalm 24. The universe looks as if it knew we were coming!

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From a scene of “green pastures”, “quiet waters” and “valleys” in the previous psalm, we move now to “the mountain of the Lord” and a city with “gates” and “ancient doors” in Psalm 24. David, the shepherd boy tending his sheep in the pasturelands of Israel has become David, the King of Israel and has conquered Jerusalem where God, the “Shepherd” is now welcomed, acknowledged as Creator and referred to as “the Lord…the King of Glory…the Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle…the Lord Almighty.”

Psalm 24

Of David. A psalm.

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,     the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas     and established it on the waters.

Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?     Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart,     who does not trust in an idol     or swear by a false god.

They will receive blessing from the Lord     and vindication from God their Savior. Such is the generation of those who seek him,     who seek your face, God of Jacob.

Lift up your heads, you gates;     be lifted up, you ancient doors,     that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory?     The Lord strong and mighty,     the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, you gates;     lift them up, you ancient doors,     that the King of glory may come in. 10 Who is he, this King of glory?     The Lord Almighty—     he is the King of glory.

Just as Psalm 23 had its context as mentioned above, so does Psalm 24. Many commentaries suggest that this psalm could have been written for the occasion when the victorious Israelite army was returning to Jerusalem after fighting against an enemy. “Thus, the psalm praises God the Warrior who has given his people victory over their enemy.” (Longman) More specifically, some suggest that the story of David bringing the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6) could have been the context for this psalm.

Whatever the context it has lots to teach us even from the very first words:

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,     the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas     and established it on the waters.

As Longman says, “The psalmist begins with a hearty affirmation that everything animate and inanimate, belongs to the Lord. He owns everything and everyone, and everything and everyone are completely dependent on him…He has authority over all.”  (see references # 30)

As Genesis 1 says:

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…vegetation…trees…sea creatures…birds…wild animals…livestock…man and woman.”

Then John in his Gospel adds:

“Through him all things were made, without him nothing was made that has been made.” (1:3)

Having spent some time recently talking to a friend, who calls himself a “skeptic”, I realize that it takes quite a bit of “faith” on his part to “believe” what he says concerning the world around him and what life is (or isn’t) all about. Frankly, just believing in God as Creator, the  Giver and Sustainer of life is not as complex as some of the things my friend “believes”! And certainly, as we consider the peoples of the world around us, he is really in a small minority who reject the reality of the supernatural and of God.

In his book, “The Reason for God” by Timothy Keller, the author has a chapter titled “The Clues of God”. In this chapter he writes, among other things, concerning the “Big Bang Theory”, which he terms the “mysterious bang”, and then quotes scientist Francis Collins:

“We have this very solid conclusion that the universe had an origin, the Big Bang. Fifteen billion years ago, the universe began with an unimaginable bright flash of energy from an infinitesimally small point. That implies that before that, there was nothing. I can’t imagine how nature, in this case the universe, would have created itself. And the very fact that the universe had a beginning implies that someone was able to begin it. And it seems to me that had to be outside of nature.”

Keller then goes on to mention yet another fascinating fact about the universe which he calls the “cosmic welcome mat”. He writes concerning the “perfect calibration” of the universe, of “values that together fall into an extremely narrow range”. He concludes that “the probability of this perfect calibration happening by chance is so tiny as to be statistically negligible.” He follows this by another quote by Francis Collins:

“When you look from the perspective of a scientist at the universe, it looks as if it knew we were coming. There are 15 constants…that have precise values. If any one of these constants were off by even one part in a million, or in some cases, one part in a million million, the universe could not have actually come to the point where we see it. Matter would not have been able to coalesce [combine], there would have been no galaxy, stars, planets or people.”

And then Keller writes concerning the “regularity of nature”:

“As a proof for the existence of God, the regularity of nature is inescapable…There have been many scholars in the last decades who have argued that modern science arose in its most sustained form out of Christian civilization because of its belief in an all-powerful God who created and sustains an orderly universe.”

(Timothy Keller The Reason for God – Belief in an Age of Scepticism Hodder & Stoughton 2008)

Creator God, what an amazing universe we live in, and it all belongs to you. May we live our daily lives in the knowledge of this truth seeking to bring glory to you. Thank you that you also created us for yourself. May we make the purpose and passion of our lives all about knowing, serving and delighting in you and all that you have made. Amen.

 

# 97 A journey through the Psalms. Psalm 22. David’s mortal words became immortal.

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Psalm 22

For the director of music. To the tune of “The Doe of the Morning.” A psalm of David.

 

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?
My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, but I find no rest.

 

What an amazing, extraordinary psalm!

 

I remember well, sitting on a bus travelling home after work, reading my Bible. I was only 19, and a very new believer in Jesus, having put my faith in Him as my Lord and my God only a month or so earlier. At that time, the majority of the Bible was new to me, including the Psalms, which on that particular day I was reading through. Then, for the first time in my life I came across Psalm 22. I was amazed as I read it, thinking, ‘wait a minute, this is talking about Jesus!’ I didn’t need a commentary for that insight. It seemed so obvious to me.

 

And I was right of course. When read in the light of the story of the crucifixion of the Son of God, it is as if the writer was the Lord himself, impaled upon that terrible cross, suffering and dying for my sin and yours.

 

And yet, remarkedly, we know that it was actually written some 1000 years before the birth of Christ, most probably by David.

 

Kidner, commenting on this psalm says: “No Christian can read this without being vividly confronted with the crucifixion. It is not only a matter of prophesy minutely fulfilled, but of the sufferer’s humility – there is no plea for vengeance [like other psalms we have looked at] – and his vision of a worldwide ingathering of the gentiles.” (see references # 29)

 

As well as verse 1, quoted above, which is fulfilled in the gospels [See Matthew 27:45-46],

consider other verses in this psalm which were fulfilled at Calvary:

 

All who see me mock me;
they hurl insults, shaking their heads.
“He trusts in the Lord,” they say,
“let the Lord rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
since he delights in him.”

 

[See Matthew 27:39-44]

 

14 I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax;
it has melted within me…
they pierce my hands and my feet.
17 All my bones are on display;
people stare and gloat over me.
18 They divide my clothes among them
and cast lots for my garment.

 

[See Mark 15:24, and John 19:23-24]

 

 22 I will declare your name to my people;
in the assembly I will praise you.
[This verse was quoted in Hebrews 2:12 as the words of Jesus, when the writer says:

10 In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. 11 Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. 12 He says,

“I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters;
in the assembly I will sing your praises
.”]

 

27 All the ends of the earth
will remember and turn to the Lord,
and all the families of the nations
will bow down before him,
[consider the words of Paul in Philippians 2:9-11

“…at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth…”]

 

In summary, let me quote the words of E M Blaiklock concerning this psalm:

 

“While accepting the traditional authorship, it is impossible to identify the occasion. Nor is it necessary. No choice is demanded between the historical and the predictive interpretations. They fuse, and in their fusing reveal how prophesy is inspired…the temporal [is] merged with the eternal, the human with the divine, and the theme broke the boundaries of the present and touched that which was yet to come. This cannot be other than a preview of the Crucifixion, a passionate and fearful picture of Calvary. It was seen by the Crucified Himself and accepted as the expression of his own desolation…[David’s] mortal words became immortal.” (See references # 37)

 

Father, your Word continues to amaze us, and particularly the many prophesies in the OT (not the least this Psalm) predicting the incarnation, life, death and resurrection of your Son, Jesus. Help me to keep ever learning new things from your Word and empower me by your Holy Spirit to apply the truths I learn in my everyday life. Amen.

# 94 A journey through the Psalms. Psalm 20 & 21. The desires of your heart.

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Using his imagination, Blaiklock moves from Psalm 20 to 21 as follows:

 

Psalm 20 – “The king is about to go to battle…the people invoke God’s blessing…The royal leader has drawn strength from the loyalty and loving regard of those who have prayed for him…The people round off…in a loud cry of affirmation. An anthem closes the prayer, ‘God save the king’…

 

The place of worship empties, and…the army marches out of Jerusalem. Will the weary repetitions of man’s history never cease? Darkness fell and the long wait began. In small homes hearts were heavy, women lonely and children large-eyed with apprehension.”

 

Psalm 21 – “Was it weeks, was it months, before the army marched back? It seemed years to some, but they came back, those who came back, with victory, and those who still could sing were gathered to render thanks for vast deliverance…the king [has] returned in triumph, the nation [is] saved [from the enemy], prayer [has been] answered [and] the outcome is ascribed to God.”   (see references # 37)

 

They knew it in their minds, they proclaimed it with their mouths, that Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God, but now it is confirmed again in their hearts! Their faith was not displaced, it was not just ‘wishful optimism but realistic faith’. It was real because God is real and powerful and faithful to his people, as promised in His Word.
 

Note the connection again between these two psalms:

 

May he [God] give you [king] the desire of your heart
and make all your plans succeed.                (Psalm 20:4)

 

You [God] have granted him [king] his heart’s desire
and have not withheld the request of his lips.     (Psalm 21:2)

And so, the follow up psalm is composed and recited with great joy:

 

Psalm 21

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

The king rejoices in your strength, Lord.
How great is his joy in the victories you give!

You have granted him his heart’s desire
and have not withheld the request of his lips.
You came to greet him with rich blessings
and placed a crown of pure gold on his head.
He asked you for life, and you gave it to him—
length of days, for ever and ever.
Through the victories you gave, his glory is great;
you have bestowed on him splendour and majesty.
Surely you have granted him unending blessings
and made him glad with the joy of your presence.
For the king trusts in the Lord;
through the unfailing love of the Most High
he will not be shaken.

 

What a delight it is to work under leadership that has some of the qualities of this king described here. Listen again to the description given:

 

  • The king rejoices in your strength, Lord. How great is his joy in the victories you give! (verse 1)
  • [you] made him glad with the joy of your presence (verse 6)
  • the king trusts in the Lord, through the unfailing love of the Most High he will not be shaken. (verse 7)

 

What a difference it would make to our churches, ministries, countries to first of all just pray regularly for our leaders and then to pray for these qualities (and more) in our leaders – our pastors, ministry leaders, politicians and others.

 

So, Father, I pray right now for pastors that they will rejoice in the strength that you give them and find joy in the good things that you accomplish through them. Make them glad with the joy of your presence day by day. May they continue to put their trust in you, no matter what comes their way, being aware daily of your unfailing love towards them, enabling them to stand firm. And, knowing their love for you, grant them the desires of their hearts as they seek to glorify you and serve others with the good news of Jesus.  Amen

 

# 84 A journey through the Psalms. Psalm 16 “The resurrection of Christ is the cornerstone of Christianity.”

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“The resurrection of Jesus Christ separates Christianity from all other religions. Christianity without the literal, physical resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is merely one religion among many. “And if Christ is not risen,” said the Apostle Paul, “then our preaching is empty and your faith is in vain”. (1 Corinthians 15:14) Furthermore, “You are still in your sins!” Paul could not have chosen stronger language.”   (www.studymode.com/essays/The-Cornerstone-Of-Christian-Faith)

 

And, by the inspiration of God, David celebrated this truth centuries before the event. In Psalm 16:10 he says:

 

“…you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful one see decay.” (Psalm 16:10)

 

This verse is quoted in the NT and it is interpreted by the writers of the NT as a prophetic word concerning the resurrection of Jesus. In Acts 2 Peter is preaching to the crowd and he says:

22 “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. 25 David said about him:

“‘I saw the Lord always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.
26 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest in hope,
27 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
you will not let your holy one see decay.
28 You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence.’

29 “Fellow Israelites, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. 30 But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. 31 Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay. 32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. 3Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear…36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”

As we continue reading in the book of Acts we then come across Paul and his companions in “Pisidian Antioch [where]…on the Sabbath they entered the synagogue” and preached the good news of Jesus the Messiah. He spoke of Jesus’ death and that “they took him down from the cross and laid him in a tomb. 30 But God raised him from the dead…

32 “We tell you the good news: What God promised our ancestors 33 he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus

34 God raised him from the dead so that he will never be subject to decay… As God has said…

“‘You will not let your holy one see decay.’  [Psalm 16]

36 “Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his ancestors and his body decayed. 37 But the one whom God raised from the dead did not see decay.

38 “Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. 39 Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin…”     (Acts 13)

I think that sometimes as 21st Century Christians we easily forget the vital importance of the resurrection in relation to the Good News we preach. But if Paul spent the whole of 1 Corinthians 15 (58 verses!) on this one particular subject, then it seems to me we should make it more of a priority in our preaching. As he says, “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. BUT Christ has indeed been raised from the dead…death has been swallowed up in victory…thanks be to God. He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15: 19, 20, 54, 57)

Let me conclude with the summary of this psalm in the words of Tremper Longman, who says, “The Psalmist is aware that he needs God in order to be safe in this world, so he calls out to him to keep him safe. The rest of the poem expresses his deeply felt confidence in God’s good gifts and ability to provide the security that he needs. At the end, he asserts God’s ability to keep him safe even from death itself…a voice that expresses hope in life after death…this text provides an Old Testament background to the belief in the afterlife that comes to full blossom in the New Testament with its teaching on bodily resurrection.” (see references # 30)

Thank you our Father for the hope that is ours in Christ. Hope not only in this life but for all eternity. Teach us then to live well, to “stand firm, [to] let nothing move [us]. Always [to] give [ourselves] fully to the work of the Lord, because [we] know that [our] labour in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)  Amen

# 83 A journey through the Psalms. Psalm 16 Resurrection – The living God is God of the living, not the dead.

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In an article on the website  http://atheistfoundation.org.au, David Nichols writes on the subject of “life after death”. Among other things he confirms the “naked truth” that “every individual will eventually die.” So far, no problem with his argument! But from then on he gets more interesting. I presume referring to everyone else but atheists he says, “One of the very interesting parts of our makeup is the ability to live in a state of denial concerning things we do not wish to believe and a ready acceptance of that which we want to believe.” He then goes on to deny any possibility of there being any such thing as life after death. He states, “Countless billions upon billions of individual lives … have existed and died over the millennia. There is no evidence that any have returned to make credible the notion that an after-life exists, excepting in the fantasy stories [i.e. sacred books].”  He does concede that “Even though there is a case for religion being a necessary part of our social evolution, we have now reached a time when the use of reason and not superstition is the only hope of our happy survival.”  And then some rather surprising words: “Eons of ethereal teachings have primed us to want that which is not obtainable as of yet – eternal life … Maybe one-day science will overcome this “problem” to some extent, but right here and right now, regrettable as this is, we all must die and that is the end – goodnight.” And then, with words which could well be a religious creed, the author makes the big statement that “Reaching a full potential of life before death is only afforded to those who reject the notion of life after death.”

 

Well, as we saw in my last Post, even the Sadducee’s in Jesus time agreed with Mr Nichols about life after death.  In Mark’s Gospel we read that “Some Sadducees, the party that denies any possibility of resurrection” [i.e. life after death] came and questioned Jesus about marriage in the afterlife, something they did not believe in. But Jesus answered them, “You’re way off base, [probably what he might say to Mr Nichols] and here’s why: One, you don’t know your Bibles; two, you don’t know how God works. After the dead are raised up, we’re past the marriage business. As it is with angels now, all our ecstasies and intimacies then will be with God. And regarding the dead, whether or not they are raised, don’t you ever read the Bible? How God at the bush said to Moses, ‘I am—not was—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? The living God is God of the living, not the dead. You’re way, way off base.”                                                                                                                                           (Mark 12:18-27 Message)

 

But not so the psalmists. Listen again to David’s words in Psalm 16:

 

I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful one see decay.

11 You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
   (NIV)

 

Phil Moore, in his insightful book on the Psalms says:

 

“The last three verses of David’s song [Psalm 16:9-11] give one of the clearest prophecies about what happens beyond the grave. He proclaims that God will not abandon his body to she’ol, which…is a Hebrew word which can either mean the realm of the dead in general, or hell in particular. David is confident that he is a Hasid – one of God’s holy ones who have been saved by [God’s] hesed, or covenant mercy – and that death will never put an end to the friendship he has been granted with God. He knows that the Lord will not abandon his soul to hell or his body to decay, so he praises God that ‘you make known to me the path of life’ beyond the grave and ‘fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures’.”   (see references # 36)

 

What a wonderful truth that “death will never put an end to the friendship [we have] been granted with God” and that He will ‘fill [us] with joy in [his] presence, with eternal pleasures at [his] right hand.”

 

I am so glad that a much more authoritative person than Mr Nichols (who said, “we all must die and that is the end – goodnight”) said, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.” (Jesus words in John 11:25) But more about this in my next Post.

 

Father, thank you that you are the God of the living and not the dead. Thank you that for all eternity we will enjoy your presence, your love, your goodness. Thank you that in you is life, and that in abundance. Thankyou that “Reaching a full potential of life before death is [in reality] only afforded to those who [understand] the [truth] of life after death.”  Amen.

 

 

# 74 A journey through the Psalms. Truths to help us to “…live a life worthy of the calling [we] have received.” (Ephesians 4:1). # Twenty: Psalm 12 It’s only words!

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“It’s only words, and words are all
I have to take your heart away.” (“Words”, by the Bee Gees, 1977)

 

The world is full of words – written  and spoken. In these incredible days we live in words travel the earth at break neck speed via mobile phones, emails, facebook, twitter, just to name of few.

 

Words can be lifesaving or soul destroying, encouraging or discouraging, helpful or destructive, giving life or bringing death.

 

God understands this and here are a couple of things that we read in his word:

 

“A man of knowledge uses words with restraint…Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent…” (Proverbs 17:27-28)

 

“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing.” (James 3:9-10)

 

And in Psalm 12 words are mentioned, here contrasting the words of evil men with those of God:

 

Help, Lord, for no one is faithful anymore;
those who are loyal have vanished from the human race.
Everyone lies to their neighbour;
they flatter with their lips
but harbor deception in their hearts.

May the Lord silence all flattering lips
and every boastful tongue—
those who say,
“By our tongues we will prevail;
our own lips will defend us—who is lord over us?”

“Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan,
I will now arise,” says the Lord.
“I will protect them from those who malign them.”
And the words of the Lord are flawless,
like silver purified in a crucible,
like gold refined seven times.

You, Lord, will keep the needy safe
and will protect us forever from the wicked,
who freely strut about
when what is vile is honoured by the human race.

 

More than any time in human history our words have incredible power due to the media and the fact that what someone says can be heard, seen or read by millions of people, and that almost in an instant. And generally, there is no possibility of turning back, no possibility of retracting what was spoken or written. For example, just consider the “conversations” happening between the candidates for the next president of the USA. One wonders when these two adults will begin to seriously regret some of the things they have said!

 

On the positive side, as Eugene Peterson says, “It is the very nature of language to form rather than inform. When language is personal, which it is at its best, it reveals; and revelation is always formative – we don’t know more, we become more. Our best users of language, poets and lovers and children and saints, use words to make – make intimacies, make character, make beauty, make goodness, make truth.” (Eugene Peterson Eat This Book – The Art of Spiritual Reading Hodder and Stoughton 2006)

 

Sadly though, it is just as true on the negative side. How many people have been “formed” from lies, flattery, deceptive words, words of pride and evil self-serving words.

 

I guess we have all been subject to them. Some of us were bought up with such words, forming us in such a way that we believed a lie (or many lies) for too long. Words such as, “You are useless and will never make anything of your life!” Then when we eventually came to our senses, realizing just how deceived we had been, maybe we felt like crying out like the psalmist: “Help, Lord, for no one is faithful anymore; those who are loyal have vanished from the human race. Everyone lies… what is vile is honoured by the human race.” Or maybe it was more like, “”I can’t believe the lies I was told. I’m not sure who I can trust ever again!”

 

Having lived a life surrounded by lies and unfaithfulness, when I was 19, Jesus intervened in my life and I discovered Him who among other things claimed, “I am the way and the TRUTH and the life.” ( John 14:6) and this Truth, said Jesus, “shall set you free.” (John 8:32) He set me free!

 

The truthful and reliable words of God are described by David as:

“…flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold refined seven times.”

 

He elaborates on this even more in Psalm 19:7-10, 12 when he says:

 

“God’s Word is perfect in every way,                                                                                                  How it revives our souls!                                                                                                                           His laws lead us to truth,                                                                                                                          and his ways change the simple into wise.                                                                                          His teachings make us joyful and radiate his light;                                                                          His precepts are so pure!                                                                                                                           His commands, how they challenge us                                                                                                   To keep close to his heart!                                                                                                                        The revelation-light of his Word makes my spirit shine radiant.                                           Every one of the Lord’s commands are right,                                                                        Following them brings cheer.                                                                                                        Nothing he says ever needs to be changed.                                                                                        The rarest treasures of life are found in his truth.                                                                       That’s why I prize God’s Word like others prize the finest gold.                                            Nothing brings the soul such sweetness                                                                                                As seeking his living words…                                                                                                         Without this revelation-light                                                                                                                How would I ever detect                                                                                                                            The waywardness of my heart.”   (The Passion Translation)

 

 

Thank God that we have such free access to God’s truth, wherever we might live in the world.

 

And the truth is that even though we may feel like the psalmist at times when he said, “no one is faithful anymore; those who are loyal have vanished from the human race…Everyone lies to their neighbour; they flatter with their lips but harbor deception in their hearts… the poor are plundered and the needy groan… the wicked…freely strut about when what is vile is honoured by the human race”, there is still hope. And that hope is in God who says in reply,

 

“Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan,
I will now arise,” says the Lord.
“I will protect them from those who malign them.”
You, Lord, will keep the needy safe
and will protect us forever from the wicked…”
And remember, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” (Galatians 6:7).

Father, may the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be always pure and pleasing, acceptable before you. Amen

# 53 Kingship Psalms

Hopefully, this study of the different types (or genres) of psalms has been an encouraging and helpful exercise for you, as it has been for me. Just a quick summary: over these last months we have checked out psalms of lament, thanksgiving, remembrance, confidence, wisdom and hymns. Now, we have one more to go, if we remain with Longman’s list. In fact, in his summary of these different types he says, “What an incredible variety of songs Israel sang to her God!” Considering this truth, may we never get stuck just in one style or type of worship, whether it involve music, liturgy or any other aspects of our times together with God. Just check out God’s creation, he loves variety!

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And so we move onto Kingship Psalms, and Longman suggests that “Two groups of Kingship Psalms must be distinguished. First, we have…a number of psalms that focus on the human king of Israel. The content of these psalms varies greatly. Psalm 20 calls down a blessing upon the king; Psalm 21 expresses the king’s thanks and trust in the Lord. Psalm 45…rejoices in the king’s wedding. The royal aspect of the psalm may not be readily apparent, because the king may refer to himself as ‘I’ rather than as ‘the king’.

The second group…proclaims that God is king. The two subgroups are closely related because, after all, the human king was simply God’s earthly reflection. God was the true king!

‘For God is the king of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise.’ (Psalm 47:7)”                             (see references # 1)

I trust you know Him as your King today!