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Saturday, November 12, 2016

Psalms 1-5

I am writing comments on the psalms as a personal discipline. I will share insights and observations here. They are not scholarly or filled with great wisdom. I recommend you read your Bible before you read my version. It's always best to go to the source.  

Psalms1- Happy and Blessed

The person who does not engage in evil and wicked endeavors is happy and his or her delight is in the Lord. The one who does not take the path of  evil, or follow the advice or the wicked, or join in mocking and degrading behavior, but instead, meditates on the Lord's instruction day and night is blessed. He or she is like a tree that is planted beside a stream of water and bears fruit in season. 

Continually feeding on the Word of God strengthens and renews the Christian who is besieged on every hand by the standards and pressures of the world.

Those who are wicked do not receive the same;  they are like the chaff removed from the grain, useless, blown by the wind. The wicked will not be able to stand when judgment comes because their efforts have not produced strength and righteousness.

Psalms 2 Coronation of the Son of the King

This Psalm could have been commemorating the coronation of a king, but I read it as the recognition of Jesus as the King of  God's eternal kingdom. David did not live to see the his son succeed him, so even though this is written by David, it does not refer to an event in his life. It is prophetic of the Messiah's ascension in heavenly realms.

The event is both earthly and heavenly. It identifies the "rulers who conspire together against the Lord and His Anointed One."  Zion is the scene of the coronation and it is called, "My holy mountain."  Those who resist are presumably humans who have no regard for God, but God ridicules them. He pronounces the Son as the recipient of the inheritance of the nations.

The instruction to the nations is severe: Serve the Lord with awe and rejoice with trembling. Do not provoke His  anger that you perish. Take refuge in Him and be happy.

Psalms 3 prayer in time of trouble

This another of the Psalms written by David. He lists the problems his foes are causing and he finds no one to help. But then he remembers that God provides a shield around him. God lifts his head and pours glory on him. God answers Davids cries from His holy mountain. Now he can sleep sustained by God even though many are standing against him. 
Now he can acknowledge and praise God for his power and salvation and claim His blessings for the people.

Psalm 4 Prayer for Evening

This Psalm of David is intended to be sung with stringed instruments.

First, he beseeches God to answer him when he calls for help. Then he acknowledges that God vindicates him. Finally he seeks God to be gracious and hear his prayer.

Sometimes in Psalms David is speaking to the public, giving instruction, or naming the attributes of God. In verse 2 he questions those who perhaps are subjects: How long, exalted men, will my honor be insulted. Then he returns to his confidence in God's provision. 

He recognizes the human tendency to experience anger and act in haste, but he cautions his subjects: be angry but don't sin; instead reflect in your heart and be still.

His advise to his subjects, or the people of his court, remains the same. Look to the Lord because He has put joy in the heart. David can sleep in peace and safety in the presence of God.