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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Psalms 41-45

Psalms 41

Psalms 41 tells a story. David begins with the truth about God, but after three verses he shifts to his personal experience and problems. I guess we all do that, read the Bible but apply its message more personally.

He began with how those who consider the weak gain God's attention. I suppose "weak" can be interpreted as sick, poor or somehow challenged by the demands of society and living. He continues with seeking God to protect him against those who attack him unjustly. In his position, he was subject to envy from associates and jealousy from others.

David seems to live at the mercy of his own paranoia. That is a risk that comes to all who are in any sort of elevated position: they always have the detractors who would disable and destroy them. But David has God. In verse 13 he gives praise for God and His eternal 

Psalms 42 and 43

Psalms 42 is the beginning of the Second book of Psalms. The Psalms are divided into 5 books, and this Psalm begins the second book. It is attributed to the Sons of Korah. Korah was a descendant of Levi and shared in the Levitical duties, but he recruited 250 Israelites to challenge Moses and Aaron in a rebellion. Read Numbers 16 for the sad story and restoration of Moses and
Aaron as leaders of the Exile.

The Sons of Korah who are mentioned in Psalms are descendants of Korah, but they have been restored as keepers of the Temple and musicians. 

Psalms 42 provides a striking metaphor of a thirsty deer that seeks for streams of water as the soul seeks for God. In Hebrew manuscripts, Psalms 42 and 43 are one Psalm. The theme continues as the writer confesses his need for God to sustain him. His internal argument questions why he is upset for God is faithful. He closes with a tribute to God's love and enduring promise of faithfulness.  

Read Psalms 42 and 43 perhaps with new insight.

Psalms 44

In this Psalm written by the Sons of Korah, we find a tribute to God for his defense of Israel. Like the Psalms of David, this one also calls on God to come to the aid of the country and the people. They have become a by-word and a reproach. He calls on God to help them and not desert them in their troubles.

The author continues to claim them to be God's people. "We had not forgotten you.," he says. Then he leaves the responsibility on God. Awake Lord! Why do you sleep? He closes with a new affirmation of their dependence on God.  Rise up and help us/
Rescue us because of your undying love.(vs. 28)

Psalms 45

This Psalm is a wedding song sung to the tune of "Lilies." It can be confusing since the bride is sometimes the focus of the words, but other verses are addressed to the groom. Also, the groom is sometimes the representative of God and is addressed as God.

In vs. 10 the bride is told to forget her people and her father's house.  It is time to assume her place in a new household.

The Psalm closes with a tribute to the bride and her everlasting memory.