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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Psakns 26-30

Psalms 26

David is almost braggadocios in this psalm. He begins with humility asking for vindication, but he continues with a litany of his righteous behavior. He recites his own virtues always ending with his testimony of God's love and faithfulness. I am writing these comments on the Psalms during the Christmas season, so forgive me if I get lost in the Spirit of Christmas.

I don't recommend this pattern for prayer. It is too easy to name the places where your actions are laudable and skip over the places where your behavior might not have met God's standard. 

There are gems of praise that bear repeating: vs. 3   I have always been mindful of your unfailing love
    and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness.

vs. 6and 7 "I... go about your altar, Lord,
proclaiming aloud your praise
    and telling of all your wonderful deeds."

vs. 8 "Lord, I love the house where you live,
    the place where your glory dwells."

 In vs. 11 he comes back to a place of repentance: deliver me and be merciful to me. 

In vs. 12 he closes with: " in the great congregation I will praise the Lord."

I love to read the praises and experience the emotions David's words bring. He reminds us of the importance of praise and joy in a time of sometimes foolishness and frivolity.  Don't let Christmas dissolve into bright lights and wrapping paper.

Psalm 27

David uses the rhetorical question well. In this Psalm he challenges the reader to look at his own situation and compare it with the virtue of God's presence. There is no fear when God is his resource. 

David does not fear the armies of the enemy; their wickedness is the primary weapon. David stands secure in God's presence, for their own treachery is their downfall.

His guide is his heart which still calls out to God. He desires to be in the House of the Lord. In it he finds shelter and security. Several references to slander and verbal assault are mentioned, and David finds strength in music, the words reassure him and the melody recalls the Lord's presence.

He closes with a final benediction to cheer the heart of a fearful companion: be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. 

Psalms 28

In this Psalm David focuses on the pain and destruction of the words people use to injure and destroy. 

He equates words with deeds; when there is malice in the heart, evil follows. He asks God to bring the evil on the ones who harbored it in their hearts. 

He closes with a final prayer of support for the people. Vs. 9 Save your people and bless your inheritance;
    be their shepherd and carry them forever.

Read it for yourself and create your own testimony of praise.

Psalms 29

The KJV says "Give to the Lord, O ye Mighty, give unto the Lord glory and strength," while the NIV uses "ascribe" instead of "give." Either word seems weak to me. I read it more as an injunction to recognize the power and glory and strength of the Lord and give praise to Him. My own interpretation means we need to see these values as present in God and our purpose is to celebrate and acknowledge them.

In verse 3 he brings the "voice of the Lord" into our notice. I guess I think of thunder as one evidence of God's voice. I know the scientific definition of thunder excludes God's activity, but this is a personal thing.

Cedars of Lebanon were prized in the ancient world for buildings and boats. They were imported to Egypt and planted there as a resource for future building before 1100 bce.

Sirion in vs. 6 is Mount Hermon. All the metaphors emphasize the power and majesty of God. Read it and remember where he is powerful in your own life.

Psalms 30

This Psalm is notable for several reasons. It is a Psalm of David. The title says it is for the dedication of his palace. He desired to build the Temple but God did not allow it. He goes on to detail the reasons he praises God at the dedication of this palace.

David was a man of war and he had faced many enemies. It is easy to see why he would be thankful and sensitive to God's protection, but he also gives thanks for healing. I don't know of a time of illness, but surely that is possible.

Vs. 5 is often quoted by those in distress: "weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning."

We like David are confident when things are going well, but when the tides turn against us, we lose hope and sometimes faith. Then it's time to remember what God has done for us in the past and claim His victory. We cannot be silent when we recall His glory and blessings.

Share His joy everywhere and rejoice in Christmas and the Birth of the Savior!