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Crucified Before the Foundation of the World

"Crucified before the foundation of the world." What does that mean? How could that even happen? Historians and archaeologists ta...

Monday, July 27, 2015

Psalm 8 __In Praise of the Glory and Power of God

I know modern society and commentators challenge the Bible's authority and deny the power of a benevolent God. Scientific interpretation constantly explains or disproves biblical claims of God's authority. We are besieged on every side, as Paul says, but it is still a comfort and solace to read scriptures like the 8th chapter of Psalms and consider the creation as God's blessing for humanity.

David is the writer of this Psalm. He was acquainted with nature as a herdsman, he viewed the land and plants and animals when he was alone in the fields. He recognized mankind's supremacy under God's authority to use the animals and their contributions to life. He valued them as God intended them for our use.

He also questions the supremacy of man in the creation. What is man that God considers him? Man is the creature that communicates with God with conscience and care. The animals are subject to instincts and are not required to be moral or decent. Man has a responsibility to the rest of his race and the creation in which he is the master. Moreover, he has a responsibility to God for his own behavior. David gives us a model to follow: We are to acknowledge God and obey his commands.

Sounds simple, doesn't it? And yet we see failure on every venue. Look again: We have an opportunity to be what God has called us to be every time. Try it one more time. Be that man or that woman God calls you to be. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Psalms Examined

The Book of Psalms is the historic hymn book of the Jewish people. Many of the Psalms give instruction for the musical accompaniment. Many of Psalms give information about the composition: what incident it commemorates and some lend themselves to textual analysis to prove what was happening at the time. Psalms that refer to the Messiah, his life, reign, sacrifice, or death are called Messianic Psalms. Of course, these would be prophetic since Jesus' birth is still in the future. This is a new role for David. He is a poet, a military leader, a king with a crown, and may also be included as a prophet due to his writings about Jesus.

There are other writers recognized in Psalms. Moses wrote Psalms 91, Solomon wrote some and David wrote many and Psalm 5 is one of those. David calls on God to hear his prayer because he is comes to God every morning and seeks his direction. He knows that God abhors evil and he calls on him to guide his way because his enemies are corrupt and devious.

He asks God to destroy them and make their own wickedness turn against them. He acknowledges that God is faithful to those who put their trust in him.

Let those who put their trust in God rejoice. God will bless the righteous. God will make his favor a shield to surround those who trust in him with righteousness.


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Studying the Psalms

The book of Psalms is divided into five books. Theologians and scholars practiced in textual analysis seek cohesion and commonality within the five books, but I haven't found anything yet that seems significant.

Perhaps the five books of Psalms are intended to echo the five books of the law. Some Bibles note the books. They are as follows: Book I--Psalms 1-41
Book II Psalms 42-72
Book III Psalms 73-89
Book IV Psalms 90-106
Book V Psalms 107-150

I am trying to find comfort and strength from the Psalms. These are the characteristic most often promised from reading them, but sometimes there are other glimpses of glory or joy or deep spiritual insight in them. They may help you, too, in unexpected ways. Try it. You might like it.