Psalm 89:1-26 – You Rule the Raging of the Sea

We will take up the first half of this rather long psalm today through verse 26. It is a community lament that many scholars attribute to the time after the fall of Jerusalem and the capture of king Jehoiachin. There is nothing in the text that this blogger can see to really confirm that, and a time that late for the writing of the entire psalm seems somewhat problematic. Adam Clarke suggested that a better translation would have been that it was for “the instruction of Ethan the Ezrahite.” So, the writer certainly could have adapted an earlier song of Ethan’s for this psalm.

 

English: The Harlot of Jericho and the Two Spi...

English: The Harlot of Jericho and the Two Spies, c. 1896-1902, by James Jacques Joseph Tissot (French, 1836-1902) or follower, gouache on board, 9 1/16 x 6 5/8 in. (23.1 x 16.9 cm), at the Jewish Museum, New York (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

We have stated before that the superscriptions at some of the Bible’s headings are not of the inspired word, and in many cases their application can be considered dubious. Still, those of a factual, rather than an interpretative nature have proven to be pretty reliable over time. In this superscription, the “maskil” is stated to be of “Ethan the Ezrahite.” He was probably a musician for corporate worship, and is probably the same one that is mentioned in 1 Chronicles 2:5-6, and certainly the same as mentioned in 1 Kings 4:29-31, where it was said of Solomon that he was wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite. Pretty impressive to have your wisdom compared to that of Solomon.

 

The chapter begins with praise for the steadfast love and faithfulness of the Lord to His people and to the promises He made to David (verses 1-4). Verses 5-13 are beautiful poetry offering praise to the mighty power of God over all things. “Rahab” in verse 10 does not refer to the woman who helped the Israelite spies in Joshua 2. It is a term that is ascribed to Egypt (and to monsters of the sea); and if one substitutes the work Egypt for Rahab in that verse, it makes sense.

 

Verses 14-18 praise God for being the strength and glory of His people. Verses 18-26 exalt God for choosing David, giving him strength and might over his enemies, and making the point that just as God had said that David was a man after His own heart, David would be faithful to the Lord, as shown in verse 26 below. It is very much a celebration of the throne and the line of David. But as we will see when we pick the chapter back up, there is more. Of David, it refers to God as saying (very much in the manner in which David wrote):

 

He shall cry to me, ‘You are my Father,
my God, and the Rock of my salvation.’

 

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 141 – My Eyes Are Toward You

English: Michal Watching David from a Window, ...

English: Michal Watching David from a Window, as in 2 Samuel 6:16: “And it was so, as the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, that Michal the daughter of Saul looked out at the window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart.”; watercolor circa 1896–1902 by James Tissot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

This lament, according to the superscription, is a psalm of David. And it does have the “flavor” of one of David’s psalms. There is no clue given as to the occasion of the writing. It could be during his flight from Saul or from the Absalom rebellion. It is likely the former, as this period was a long one in David’s life, and would provide the most opportunities for writing such laments.

 

Unlike imprecatory psalms, David is not praying for God to strike down his enemies. Nor is he praying for God to give him might against them. Instead, he is asking for the strength to withstand what his enemies would do to him, and to restrain his lips against speaking evil of them (verses 3-5).

 

He tells the Lord that he will continue praying against their evil deeds, asks God to be his defense and his refuge, and prays that his enemies will be the cause of their own demise (verse 10), rather than having him fall victim to them. What a great model of prayer from one who is so persecuted!

 

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 144 – O Lord, What Is Man?

German theologian Hermann Gunkel

German theologian Hermann Gunkel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Psalm 144 is one of the 10 psalms that Hermann Gunkel (a German scholar of the Old Testament) classified as “Royal Psalms” because of their subject matter of the king and his role in the worship of God. Other psalms have been placed in this category by other scholars. This one is very similar to Psalm 18 (which is another psalm on Gunkel’s list). The style of both is unquestionably that of David, as the superscription states. But Psalm 18 was written during the time when David was rescued by the Lord “from the hand of Saul” (see that psalm’s superscription), whereas Psalm 144 is generally believed to have been written following the defeat of Absalom.

David praises God as his fortress, stronghold, and deliverer. He is with him in times of battle (verses 1-2, 10-11), and He blesses him and his people with abundance in their daily lives (verses 12-15). Some of the most beautiful, humble, and poetic praise in the chapter occurs in verses 3-4:

O Lord, what is man that you regard him,
or the son of man that you think of him?
Man is like a breath;
his days are like a passing shadow.

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.  

Basic Old Testament Facts (Part 1)

A couple of years ago, I was privileged to participate in a Bible study series that concentrated on revisiting and strengthening knowledge of basic Bible facts – literally just hitting the highlights.  Here is part 1 of an outline of part of the Old testament portion of that study that I find useful from time to time for reference.  I hope you find it useful as well.  We may do some more of this with the New Testament later on.

Here are some book and chapter citings, as well as dates of key Old Testament events

In part 2, we will attempt a one or two sentence description of the 39 books of the OT.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
image © 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.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.