March 20, 2011

Song 12

As I read this song, I can't help but think of many conversations I've had with a few different teens as they lamented to me about how they wonder where the good men and women have gone in their schools.  They've sat across the table from me and told me how it is hard to live right and love others when people around them seem to pick and choose who they show love to and so openly despise certain people.  It is amazing that around 3000 years span the penning of this Song and my conversations with the teens, yet they are one in the same.

March 17, 2011

Song 11

This song starts out by saying basically, "Where can I run from those who are against me?  Even in the mountains and shadows they will hunt me down."  (vs 2-3)  Yet even though there is no where to flee to, or no place to hide, the author/writer/psalmist turns to God and proclaims that He sees all and that it is in the Lord that he takes refuge.

This song seems like something someone affected by the Tsunami & Earthquake in Japan would write.  Where can you run?  Where can you hide?  It is only in the Lord that you can take refuge.
Pray for Japan today.
Help Japan today!

March 16, 2011

Song 10

I have been that 'wicked' man. I have said some of the things he has said. I have done some of this things. Thank goodness God is a god of redemption, restoration, and forgiveness.
that is truth about our God.

March 15, 2011

Song 9

The Lord is known by his justice - vs 16

Some questions to think about:
Can there be love without justice?
Can there be justice without love?
What does God's justice look like in this Psalm?
What feelings do you find in knowing that God is just?

March 12, 2011

Song Lyric 7

Mercy, detached from Justice, grows unmerciful.-- CS Lewis

Our God is a just God.  This does not mean he is not merciful.  I think often we Christians, especially those of us in the evangelical camp, like to downplay the justice of God and overplay the mercy of God.  Psalm 7 reminds us that God judges, he searches minds, hearts and motives.  The psalmist, humbly and boldly, ask God to judge and to protect the righteous.  This is all because the God that we serve, the God of the Old and New Testament is a righteous God.  He is right and just.  *I heard that righteousness used to be spelled rightwiseness.  That gives a good picture of the word.*

Those that are doing the Psalm a day (Epoch & Focus).  Keep your eyes peeled for mercy and justice in the Psalms.

Song Lyric 6

Poetical Insight:

For those of you that are taking part in the Psalm a Day, I thought I would share with you an aspect of Hebrew poetry.  One of the more common poetical uses is what is called Synonymous parallelism.  The Psalmist will say something in the first line, and then he will say the same thing in line two, just using different words.  This was very common in Hebrew poetry and is part of the poetry that translates through language barriers.  Psalm 6 uses this.  For example, starting in verse one,
"O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger
           or discipline me in your wrather."

or again in verse 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, and 10.  So basically the whole song.

March 11, 2011

Song Lyric 5

Psalm 5

Verse 12:

Surely, LORD, you bless the righteous; 
   you surround them with your favor as with a shield.

There is the shield imagery again.  In the middle east at this time the Israelites were very, very familiar with warfare.  God's protection is often described as being like a shield.  The epitome of defense and protection.  Without your shield you were vulnerable, open for more wounding.  Throughout the Psalms there is a clear distinction between the righteous and the wicked.  There is much comfort for the former.  God's gracious kindness surrounds those like a shield, all encompassing.

March 10, 2011

Raw Emotions

Psalm 4

This Psalm starts off with a phrase that I don't think I've ever said to God, yet the writer does not shy away from his true deep emotions.
"Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God.  Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer."

Our God is a God who is big enough to handle our deepest emotions, the ones that may scare even us.  It is interesting that the writer does however, still address God with respect as, 'O my righteous God.'  I think this is important for us to remember, that even in our darkest moments when all seems to be against us, we can turn to God and question him, but it should not be out of a hate or arrogance.  What kind of God would he be if he did not allow us to respectfully question him but expected blindfolded fear?

March 8, 2011

A Shield Around Me. (Song Lyric 3)

Psalm 3:

The picture that is drawn in my mind when I read the phrase, "You, O Lord, are a shield around me." is quite beautiful.  I imagine this highly explosive action film where the main character, me, is running from some bad guys that are shooting at him.  (and probably shooting like 100 times without reloading, cause that is how movies are.  The time I was shot at, the guy had to reload after 6.)  But running with me is a hulk of a man with muscles in his teeth and he is completely blocking the sight line of the enemy.  He is taking the full brunt of the lead.  And then when we reach out destination, I sleep and rest, while he stays vigilant.
What a picture of God.  Rescuing, protecting, and delivering.

March 7, 2011

Song Lyric 2 (Psalm 2 of POTD)

Psalm 2:
I'm struck by the supremacy of God.  Things do not go unnoticed by God.
I also found it interesting that the command is to 'Kiss the Son' in verse 12.  The footnote said that in the Near East a kiss doubled as a sign of submission.  The 'Son' is referring to the King in this passage, which makes sense to the person reading it, since they are commanded to take refuge in the King.  However, we can claim this verse as truth about Jesus because of what we know about him from the New Testament.  The writer was not writing about Jesus, but God, who ordained this book, knows his own plan and I believe the fact that many things written in the Psalms seem to be experiences from Jesus life, or truths about Jesus is not by chance.