Psalm 150 – Everything That Has Breath

creation_008Psalm 150 is the final chapter of the Book of Psalms, closing out Book 5; and as such, it servers as the final doxology. It is, of course, also the last of the “Hallelujah Psalms,” beginning and ending with “Praise the Lord!” That is indeed what each of the six short verses are about; and we will let them speak for themselves – as they do quite adequately.

Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens!

Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his excellent greatness!

Praise him with trumpet sound;
praise him with lute and harp!

Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!

Praise him with sounding cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!

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 107:23-43 – By His Blessing

When Judah was captured, Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed, and the people taken away as Babylonian prisoners (2 Kings 25; 2 Chronicles 36:13-23).

When Judah was captured, Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed, and the people taken away as Babylonian prisoners (2 Kings 25; 2 Chronicles 36:13-23).

The second half of Psalm 107 continues the theme of describing the plight of exiles during the Babylonian captivity and their eventual rescue by the Lord. The particular group that verse 23 begins with is made up of those who went to sea. Whether they were sailing in the service of the foreign king or being transported for some unknown purpose we are not told. But this group met with trouble by turbulent seas and weather and the scripture says they nearly perished. But again, the Lord heard their cry and quieted the storm so they would be brought to safety.

The praise for the Lord begins in verse 31, but from verse 33 onward, the point of the psalm is made known. The Lord DOES hear the cry of His people; and in a litany of ways that He often turns events around 180 degrees, the psalm praises God for His providence, His power and mercy, and His care for His people. The last four verses sum it up well:

When they are diminished and brought low
through oppression, evil, and sorrow,
he pours contempt on princes
and makes them wander in trackless wastes;

but he raises up the needy out of affliction
and makes their families like flocks.
The upright see it and are glad,
and all wickedness shuts its mouth.

Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things;
let them consider the steadfast love of the Lord.

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 67- Let All the Peoples Praise You!

harvestThis song is only 7 verses long, and it includes thanksgiving for what appears to have been a good harvest (verse 6).  But the psalm also does what many other passages in the Old Testament do, which is to affirm what the apostles found to be true in the Book of Acts, and what they (especially Paul) proclaim to be true – that God always intended for the Gentiles to be included in His plan for salvation. This evident first in verse 2: “that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations,” and then again in verse 4:

Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you judge the peoples with equity
and guide the nations upon earth. Selah

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 18:25-50 – His Way Is Perfect

David, King Over All Israel, as in 2 Samuel 5:...

David, King Over All Israel, as in 2 Samuel 5:1-12, illustration from a Bible card published 1896 by the Providence Lithograph Company (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In this second half of Psalm 18, David continues singing God’s praises for being a just and merciful God, and specifically for care and help He has given David. In verse 29, the phrase “and by my God I can leap over a wall” may refer to David’s victory over the stronghold of the Jebusites at Jerusalem in 2 Samuel 5:6-10.  Verses 31-45 continue in that line of thought, as David recounts his military victories, his leadership, and his prowess as a warrior.

But he does not do so in a boastful manner. Instead, he rightly gives all the credit and glory to God, where it belongs. In verse 34, he says that “He trains my hands for war.” In verses 39-40:

For you equipped me with strength for the battle;
you made those who rise against me sink under me.
You made my enemies turn their backs to me,
and those who hated me I destroyed

Verse 46 continues the words that now are the lyrics for the popular hymn “I Will Call Upon the Lord” (which began in verse 3): “the Lord lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation.” In verse 49, David writes: “for this I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations, and sing to your name.” This verse is also written in 2 Samuel 22:50, and Paul sites them in Romans 15:9-12, as he explains that it was always God’s plan to include the Gentiles as the children of God through the Davidic line in Jesus Christ. To this point, verse 50 ties up the entire chapter into a succinct summary:

Great salvation he brings to his king,
and shows steadfast love to his anointed,
to David and his offspring forever

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 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 149 – The Lord Takes Pleasure In His People

Psalm 149 is another of the “Hallelujah Psalms” that begin and end with the phrase “Praise the Lord!” In the first verse of this one, the psalmist speaks of singing “a new song.” This is a familiar phrase throughout the psalms. For example, we find it in Psalm 33:1-3, Psalm 96:1, and Psalm 98:1. But what does it really mean? The best explanation we have heard is that it does not simply refer to a newly composed song, but to a call to sing in response to a new blessing given by the Lord to His people.

Mount Zion, Aceldama, Akeldama, or Hakeldamia, the Field of Blood.

Mount Zion, Aceldama, Akeldama, or Hakeldamia, the Field of Blood.

Verse 4 states that “the Lord takes pleasure in His people,” meaning that those who serve Him are certainly favored by the Lord. And the verse adds that He “adorns the humble with salvation,” which means that He blesses those who come to Him with their hearts in the right place – not arrogantly, boastful, or presumptuously.  The rest of the psalm expands on verse 5’s exhortation for the godly to exult in joy because of God’s power and might – even over those who may have great earthly power; and it praises Him again for His justice, which is “honor for all his godly ones.”

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 18:1-24 – I Call Upon the Lord

cherubim_002We are breaking this relatively long psalm up into two sections, and so we will cover verses 1-24 in this blog. Occasionally there is some disagreement among scholars as to the author of certain psalms. But with Psalm 18, there can be no doubt. The psalm is also found in 2 Samuel 22. In fact, even most of the superscription is contained in verses 1-2 of that passage practically word for word:

“And David spoke to the Lord the words of this song on the day when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said…”

This is one of the “royal psalm,” and it shows God’s faithfulness to his people by giving them the Davidic monarchy, and keeping him safe through many dangers. The hymn “I will call upon the Lord” is taken from this psalm. Consider verse 3: “I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.”

Though there are few differences between this psalm and the passage in 2 Samuel 22, the distinction is in context. The latter is David’s personal prayer of praise and thanksgiving to God for His deliverance of him. Psalm 18 is the adaptation of it to a song that the whole congregation can sing to give thanks for the line of David, and to pray for the faithfulness and strength of the heirs to his throne.

The words of the first half of psalm, when referring to God’s deliverance of David, convey imagery of God rushing to the rescue of His anointed one like an angry and powerful protector, arriving on winged transport with swiftness of speed. His voice like thunder, flinging fire and hailstones, the picture of a powerful and protective God is painted in such a way as to instill awe, reverence and gratitude for the swiftness of action with which God acts to protect His righteous.

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 143 – I Stretch Out My Hands To You

Absalom

Absalom (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

This psalm of David is one of  those which are referred to as “the penitentials.” It still has all the elements of a lament, however, and as such it is clear that it was one written during his flight from Jerusalem during Absalom’s rebellion. The penance in his prayer is far too deep and genuine to be of the time of Saul’s persecution. Franz Delitzsch wrote of this psalm that it:

 

“is certainly composed as coming out of the situation of David who was persecuted by Absalom; and it is distinguished from those of the time of Saul’s persecution by the psalmist’s deep melancholy, founded upon the penitential sorrow of David’s consciousness of his own guilt.”

 

David is paying the price for his sin with Bathsheba, and his atrocious murder of his loyal friend, Uriah the Hittite – of which Nathan warned him to be prepared for in 2 Samuel 12:7-12.  Psalm 143 is another great model of prayer for us today. In the midst of praying for his deliverance, David also prays not only for deliverance, but for strength to serve God better:

 

Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God!
Let your good Spirit lead me
on level ground!

For your name’s sake, O Lord, preserve my life!
In your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble!

 

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 148 – Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah!

William J. Kirkpatrick

William J. Kirkpatrick

Another of the “Hallelujah Psalms,” Psalm 148 is certainly one of the most familiar to people in song. The ever-popular hymn “Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah!” by William J. Kirkpatrick is practically taken word for word from this psalm; and it is a personal favorite of this blogger.

The psalm calls on all of God’s creatures to praise Him, but it goes further – declaring that all of His creation should sing His praises as well.  Parts of this psalm bring to mind the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem (Luke 19:28-44). When the Pharisees suggested that Jesus should silence His disciples who were shouting praises to Him, he answered in verse 40 “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”

Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
praise him in the heights!

Praise him, all his angels;
praise him, all his hosts!

Praise him, sun and moon,
praise him, all you shining stars!

Praise him, you highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens!
Let them praise the name of the Lord!
For he commanded and they were created.

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 145 – I Will Extol You

Hebrew letter "nun"

Hebrew letter “nun”

Psalm 145 is the last of the psalms of David in Book 5, and is followed by the “Hallelujah Psalms” (Psalms 146-150). It is an acrostic, but like a couple of other acrostics, there is a letter missing – at least in some manuscripts – the letter “nun.” But both the Septuagint and the Dead Sea Scrolls supply the line with the missing letter (the second part of verse 13 – “the Lord is faithful in all his words and kind in all his works.”, and it flows perfectly, suggesting evidence of an earlier manuscript that matches.

It is a song of praise, and in its acrostic style, it uses a variety of words for communicating the idea of praise (extol, comment, pour forth, etc.), as well as the timeless continuity of this praise and of God’s grace, love, and mercy (forever and ever, everlasting, throughout all generations, etc. The theme of praising God for His righteousness and faithfulness continues throughout the acrostic. It points out that God is in control of even the most minute details of the world – down to even the various supplies of food He makes available to all His creatures.

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.