Good Sunday morning Friends~
Rarely do you get an email on Sundays. Surprise!
In reading through Psalms, other literature about Psalms, and devotionals from Psalms, there is so much going on there which we miss on a cursory perusal of the book. There are issues of Hebrew poetry, called parallelism, which when understood, makes some of the material make more sense. There are issues of metaphors within the book, which, when understood, helps to make sense of some of the word-pictures. Then there are all the musical terms- maskil, alamoth, higgaion, sheminith, shiggaion, and the ever elusive ‘Selah.’ I think it meant, the worship leader broke a guitar string, to wait a minute, just ponder. And what about some of those song titles- “death of the son,” “do not destroy” (whatever is that about?), “doe of the morning,” “doves on distant oaks.” Must have been something with having the letter D in the name that was important? Maybe Iron Butterfly got there famous tune In A Gadda Da Vida from Psalms 45 & 49 “tune of the lilies.”
Hopefully some of the following is not too late for you, but it may be important information as life goes on:
**Psalms is a further material for what we previously read in Esther and Job. What does a person do in troubled times? How does one believe when things don’t go the way we think they should? These three books help us understand that purpose is more important than cause. So many folks want to know why (cause) rather than what for (purpose). It is so much easier for us to place blame rather than take responsibility. Looking at life from a “what is this for, how can I learn from this, how can I serve others by what just happened to me?” attitude is so much better than, “woe is me, everybody hates me, it is _________’s (insert name) fault I am the way I am, how can I doubt God so I don’t have to be responsible” attitude. For the psalmist, the enemies are always getting the upper hand. Rather than asking “Where is God?” let’s ask “How is he working?” Just like he was working silently and secretly in the book of Esther, he may be doing that with us. We may not have a Red Sea parting experience, but we do have the ever-present work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, everyday, all the time, in all occasions.
** Psalms 1 and 2 are the foundational markers for the book. They set up the entire book. Psalm 1 looks at the individual. Whether they do right or wrong. Who they get their counsel from and so on. Psalm 2 looks at the national level. Similar questions are asked of the nation as are asked of the individual.
** There are several different types of Psalms:
Praise Psalm- Either individual or corporate, that expresses praise for who God is and what He has done. It typically does not include petitions.
Lament Psalm- Either individual or corporate, that expresses a problem that the author would like God to address. It focuses on a petition and often includes a vow of praise in the expectation that God will answer.
Wisdom Psalm- A psalm addressed to people, rather than to God, that offers advice or thoughts about relating to God and understanding Him.
Royal Psalm- A psalm that focuses on how God workds through His anointed king.
Imprecatory Psalm- A psalm or section of a psalm in which the psalmist calls down specific curses on his enemy, indicating how his enemy would have to be treated for justice to be done.
** Since the Bible is not about us but about God, how it is His revelation of Himself, how it is His story, what key teachings about Father does Psalms relate:
1. Yahweh reigns.
2. God wants us to express trust in times of crisis.
3. God is praiseworthy.
4. God’s law is a delight.
5. God supports his king.
6. God watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
What a mighty God we serve, What a mighty God we serve, Angels bow before Him, Heaven and Earth adore Him, What a mighty God we serve.
Stay at it saints! You are officially half way through every word of God.