Psalm 116 – I Love the Lord

On the first Passover, the Israelites who painted their doorways with blood were passed over when the angel of death came through the land of Egypt (Exodus 11).

On the first Passover, the Israelites who painted their doorways with blood were passed over when the angel of death came through the land of Egypt (Exodus 11).

Psalm 116 is the fourth psalm in what is known as the Paschal Hallel (Psalms 113-118), and is often viewed in connection with the deliverance out of Egypt. It was often sang in connection with the slaying of the lambs at Passover, which causes many to believe that it was one if the songs Jesus and the disciples sang on the might before His crucifixion (Matthew 26:30).
As one of these songs of praise, it shines with poetic beauty and thankfulness to the Ancient of Days. It begins with “I love The Lord,” and then tells of the great mercy and generosity He has shown to the psalmist. As such, the words of the psalm have been timeless, and will continue to be so.

Verses 12-14 contain some beautiful thoughts and an attitude all Christians today should have:
What shall I render to the Lord
for all his benefits to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the Lord,I will pay my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people.

We find this final verse recurring  throughout the psalm, which is the light we are to let shine (Matthew 5:14-16). We must let our commitment to Christ permeate our lives for all to see – not for our own glory, but for encouragement to others and to further His kingdom.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

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Psalm 115 – To Your Name Give Glory

Jesus giving the Farewell discourse to his ele...

Jesus giving the Farewell discourse to his eleven remaining disciples, from the Maesta by Duccio, 1308-1311. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Psalm 115 is the third song in what is known as the “Hallel” – sometimes today called “Hallelujah Psalms.” They were sung traditionally at the end of the Passover celebration, and other feasts and occasions. It is considered likely that one or more of these were also the hymns sung by Jesus and his disciples on the night of the Last Supper (Matthew 26:29-35, Mark 14:26).

As a song of praise, it has roughly four parts. Verses 1-3 are both praise and a plea to God for his help. Verses 4-8 continue that praise as God is exalted and contrasted with the useless idols of pagans. Verses 9-13 call for God’s people to trust in the Lord as their defender. Verses 14-18 call upon God to bless His people, praising Him and professing everlasting love.

The psalmist glorifies the Lord as the Creator of all things, and who will bless the house of Israel and the house of Aaron – metaphors for all of God’s people, as well as His consecrated. Beautiful, encouraging poetry, a sample of which follows from verses 15-16:

May you be blessed by the Lord,
who made heaven and earth!
The heavens are the Lord’s heavens,
but the earth he has given to the children of man.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.

“Understanding the Cross of Christ”
is now available as an eBook by Bob’s Boy’s Publications (free in Kobo format). Details here.

Psalm 117, 124 – If Not For the Lord

storm_002Both of these psalms are short hymns of great praise. Psalm 117 is the next to the last in what as known as the “Hallel” (Psalms 113-118) praising God and calling for all nations to do so (“For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!”). The word “us” applies to people of all nations, and Paul quotes this passage when speaking to Jews and Gentiles in Romans 15:10-11.

Psalm 124 is one of the fifteen “Psalms of Acsents” (see this previous post for a brief explanation). This particular psalm is one of praise to God for deliverance. Here, the analogies are made to escaping from death by drowning (verses 4-5), and then as a bird escaping from a predator or a trap (verses 6-7). It is a reminder to those of the singing congregation of the grace, mercy, and power of the Lord:

If it had not been the Lord who was on our side—
let Israel now say—
if it had not been the Lord who was on our side
when people rose up against us,
then they would have swallowed us up alive,

God does not always answer our prayers the way we would like for Him to. Sometimes, the answer is no. Sometimes, it may even be “not yet” or “I have something else in mind.” Sometimes, that “something else” becomes clear to us later as the better thing to have happened. But sometimes, we come to Him in great distress, and He answers “yes.” When the dust settles after such a situation, do we give Him the praise and the glory? Or do we just move on as if the “luck of the draw” was simply on our side?

Verse 8 is a reminder that it is from God whom all blessings flow:

Our help is in the name of the Lord,
who made heaven and earth

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

Psalm 114 – The Sea Looked and Fled

mountains_005This short psalm is one of the “Hallel” Psalms (Psalms 113-118) – this one being the second hymn that was sung at the beginning of different feasts. There are some who believe that this psalm was written at the time of the return of the captives from Babylon, as encouragement for those that were returning from such a state, only to find circumstances to be very difficult at “home.”

Verses 1-5 obviously refer to the deliverance of the people out of bondage in Egypt, referencing the parting of the Red Sea and the crossing of the Jordan. What follows is some metaphorical poetry about God’s command over all of the earth – even to make the mountains move, and causes the earth to tremble.  If such a God is caring for His people, what do they have to fear?

Verses 7b and 8 (“…the presence of the God of Jacob,who turns the rock into a pool of water, the flint into a spring of water”) likely refer to God bringing forth water from the rocks in Numbers 20:11 and Deuteronomy 8:15.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.