Monthly Archives: September 2013

Psalm 136 — Remembering the goodness and love of God

The first verse pretty much sums up the whole psalm. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. “His love endures forever.” This whole psalm is about God’s goodness and love toward his people.  But as we look at … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Psalm 135 — The God of gods

This psalm starts out pretty much as Psalm 134 does, with a call to worship, and you also see elements of Psalm 115 in this psalm as well. But the main theme of this psalm is the greatness of our … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Psalm 134 — Maintaining a heart of worship

This is the last of the song of ascents, and it has been conjectured that it was sung after the pilgrimage to the temple in Jerusalem had been made, and the people were ready to go home. And as they … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Psalm 133 — Unity

As the pilgrims continued their ascent up to Jerusalem to worship at the temple, they sang about something that is vital for the church today.  Unity. David wrote, How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Psalm 132 — The God who is faithful to his promises

This is an interesting psalm.  It starts with a prayer to God, and it ends with his answer.  I don’t know of many psalms offhand that are like this. This is one of the last songs of ascent, and as … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Psalm 131 — Humility

Another short but sweet psalm, in which David shows us the kind of heart we need when approaching God, which is appropriate considering that people sang this on their way to worship God in the temple. What kind of heart … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Psalm 130 — A God of forgiveness and mercy

This is a very short, but sweet psalm which reflects on the forgiveness and mercy of God in a time of distress. The date of this psalm is not known, but it has the feel of someone writing after the … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Psalm 129 — Though we are persecuted

Here in this psalm we see two things.  First we see the persecution that the Jewish people have suffered throughout history.  We see it first in Egypt, then through the times of the judges and periods of the kings, all … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Psalm 128 — When we put God first

So many of us seek happiness in our lives.  We seek it in our families, we seek it in our jobs, and we seek it in financial security. But in this psalm, we see the key to true happiness.  The … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Psalm 127 — The limits of our own efforts

This psalm was written by Solomon, but it reminds me of a later time in Israel’s history when Nehemiah was trying to rebuild the walls. Solomon wrote, Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain.  Unless the … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Psalm 126 — Set free!

I would guess that this was written after the Babylonian captivity, perhaps during the time of Ezra or Nehemiah, or perhaps sometime after as the Jews looked back on their return to Jerusalem.  And as you look at this psalm, … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Psalm 125 — Unshaken

This is another of my favorite psalms, in part because there was a song we used to sing at my church way back when that was based on it.  I especially love the first two verses. Those who trust in … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Psalm 124 — Rejoicing in God’s favor

This psalm was written by David, but it’s not clear what the context of the psalm was.  In all probability, it was written after a great victory in battle when the odds seemed against them.  It’s the type of psalm … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Psalm 123 — A cry for mercy

This is a very interesting psalm in the imagery it gives.  The psalmist writes, I lift up my eyes to you, to you whose throne is in heaven.  As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Psalm 122 — The joy of being with God’s people

As the pilgrims came upon the gates of Jerusalem, they probably started singing this song.  And it shows their joy in coming to the house of God. I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Psalm 121 — The God who watches over us

This is one of the most beautiful psalms in the book, and was my father’s favorite.  I can see why. It is a psalm of utter trust in the Lord. It starts out, I lift up my eyes to the … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Psalm 120 — Angered by the evil around us

How often do you get angered by the evil that you see around you?  That’s how the psalmist felt. What did he see around him?  Lying lips.  Deceitful tongues.  (2)  And people who not only disrupted peace, but caused war … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Psalms | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Psalm 119:145-176 — Refusing to give in to evil

And so we come to the close of Psalm 119.  As I’ve said before, it’s an anonymous psalm, but I wouldn’t be surprised if David was the author.  One reason is how this psalm ends, and the experiences of the … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Psalm 119:97-144 — The way to understanding

All of us would like to grow in wisdom and understanding.  And in this passage, we see how we can do so. The psalmist writes, Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me.  I … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Psalm 119:81-96 — Where we put our hope

And so we hit the halfway point of this psalm. I love the psalmist’s words to open this section. My soul faints with longing for your salvation, but I have put my hope in your word.  (81) Sometimes we go … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Psalm 119:65-80 — A soft heart

I noted in an earlier blog on this psalm that the psalmist had a humble heart.  A heart that admitted that it didn’t know everything, and was very teachable. We see more of that here, but we also see a … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Psalm 119: 41-64 — The word that brings freedom and comfort

The love that the writer has for God’s word really strikes me as I go through this psalm.  So many people take God’s word as something that binds.  Namely, something that takes away our freedom to enjoy life.  “Do this, … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Psalm 119:17-40 — The need for understanding

And so we continue on with this, the longest psalm in the book. The thing I see in this passage, is the humble heart of the psalmist.  A heart that says, “I don’t know everything.  Give me understanding.” He says … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Psalm 119:1-15 — A desire for holiness

We now hit the longest chapter in the Bible.  Needless to say, it’s also the longest psalm.  I toyed with the idea with just getting it all over with in one shot, but I figured I wouldn’t be able to … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged | Leave a comment

Psalm 118 — A psalm of salvation

If there is one psalm that will be sung when Jesus returns, I would guess that this would be it.  Because it is a song of utter praise for our salvation, that has more meaning for us than it had … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Psalm 117 — When all nations worship

This is the calm before the storm.  Here we have the shortest psalm in the Bible (as well as the shortest chapter), soon to be followed by the longest one.  I’m still not sure how I will tackle Psalm 119, … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Psalm 116 — Hope in the darkest of times

I think I’ve loved this psalm ever since I heard a song based on the Living Bible version of it. The Living Bible puts it something like this, I love the Lord because he hears my prayers and answers them. … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Psalm 115 — The One who deserves our praise and trust

The psalmist starts out this psalm with a cry that resonates. Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.  (1) Who are you living for?  For yourself?  … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Psalm 114 — Saved to be a sanctuary, and a kingdom

This is a psalm that talks about how God delivered the Israelites out of Egypt, led them through the desert, and into the promised land. From the partings of the Red Sea and the Jordan, to God’s appearance on Mount … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Leave a comment

Psalm 113 — The God on high, who stooped down

Probably the most incredible thing about God is that as great and awesome as he is, he cares about us. This psalm starts with a call to worship, as the psalmist sings, Praise the Lord.  Praise the Lord, you his servants; praise … Continue reading

Posted in Books of Poetry, Old Testament, Psalms | Tagged , , | Leave a comment