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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Psalms 46-50

Psalms 46

This Psalm is noted to be by the Sons of Korah. It was intended to be performed in the range of female voices, the young women preferably. The word selah occurs at the end of vs. 7 and again after vs. 11. It may be a musical instruction. These verses are a refrain emphasizing God's protection.

The Psalm praises the power and might of God to draw worshipers to see God's glory. In vs 3-6 the author begins a peek into the glories of Heaven. 

Vs. 10 echoes the message Elijah received on Mt. Horeb. I Kings 19:12- Be still and know that I am God.

Psalms 47

This Psalm was written by the Sons of Korah. It is a straightforward praise of God giving Him credit for all the power and majesty in the world. The author calls for clapping and joyous shouts as a demonstration of praise and celebration.

Psalms 48

This is another Psalm by the Sons of Korah. It praises Jerusalem as the City of God and identifies it with Mount Zion.

The word selah appears at the end of vs. 8.  The word's meaning is uncertain, but it may be a musical direction. The description of the
beauty and loftiness of the city may be exaggerated since it did not gain such a great reputation until after Solomon built the Temple. It was the City of David, and the palace of the King elevated the city to an exalted position. 

The author describes kings joining in attacking but fleeing in fear when they neared the city.  Perhaps it was the walls and gates, fortresses and ramparts that repelled the attack. The author attributes the defense of Jerusalem to God Himself. He is her fortress. 

He ends with a word of praise: "He is our God forever and ever. He will be our guide even to the end."

Psalms 49

The author is the Sons of Korah. He details the uselessness of wealth and power against human weakness. Money cannot redeem a soul or prevent the decay of the body.

Vs. 15 reminds us not to be amazed at wealth and splendor, for it is God who redeems a soul.

His final caution warns us that people who have wealth but lack understanding are like beasts that perish. There is no hope for them. This Psalm is both prophetic and reassuring to those who know God.

Psalms 50

This Psalm attributed to Asaph is the most difficult I have found to analyze. It begins with praise to God for his beauty and power and for beauty in the heaven and world he created.
In vs. 5 he shifts his attention to the judgment he proposes on the people he created. He sees them as consecrated by their sacrifices.
He dismisses the animal sacrifices. He does not need a bull or sheep. He calls his people to be thankful, and then he calls on them to depend on him, and he will deliver them.

He makes another shift in focus: He chastises the wicked. He continues with a litany of offenses they commit against his righteous laws. 

The Psalm ends with a harsh prophecy of consequences for those who disregard his promises and an invitation to partake of salvation to those who obey.

Read to see where you fit in.