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Psalm 3 December 21, 2018

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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Here are my thoughts on Psalm 3.

Summary: In this passage, David acknowledges the severity of the revolt led by his son, Absalom. Yet he is confident that God will enable him to emerge victorious (even though he faces a host of enemies); thus, he calls on God to act in this regard.

Thoughts: This psalm includes the initial appearance of the word “Selah” in the Psalms. Spurgeon offers some insights on this point in his commentary on verse 2:

The precise meaning is not known. Some think it simply a rest, a pause in the music; others say it means “Lift up the strain – sing more loudly,” “Pitch the tune in a higher key – there is nobler matter to come, therefore retune your harps.” Harp-strings soon get out of order and need to be screwed up again to their proper tightness, and certainly our heartstrings are evermore getting out of tune.

I anticipate meeting David in the next life and learning the precise meaning of this word (on a related note, I assume it inspired the name of this group). Now I must admit that when I previously read through the Psalms, I never paused to contemplate what I had just read when I encountered a “Selah.” Moreover, I never paused to contemplate the holiness of the verses after a “Selah.” In light of Spurgeon’s thoughts on “Selah,” I will attempt to treat each “Selah” with more care when I encounter it. In this way, I hope to gain a deeper appreciation for the verses that encompass each “Selah” – and draw closer to God in the process.

Psalm 2 December 15, 2018

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Here are my thoughts on Psalm 2.

Summary: In this passage, the psalmist draws a sharp contrast between two parties.

The first party is Jesus Christ – the Son of God. His Father has granted Him authority over all things, including the nations. Thus, those who choose to submit to Him will be blessed.

The second party consists of those who refuse to submit to Him. The psalmist exhorts them to submit to Him – lest He judge them.

Thoughts: This psalm includes several prophecies concerning the Messiah. I hope to meet the psalmist (possibly David) in the next life and probe them on this point. Did they intentionally reference the Messiah when writing this psalm? If so, what were their thoughts and feelings regarding the Messiah? Did they eagerly anticipate His First Coming? Were they filled with a sense of awe and humility while pondering the deeds that He would perform? Did they believe that His First Coming would occur in their lifetime? What was their conception of the spiritual facet of the Messiah’s kingdom? Did they receive any feedback from their compatriots regarding these prophetic references?

Here, the psalmist exhorts all who reject the authority of the Messiah to submit to Him. Spurgeon offers some thoughts on this point in his commentary on verse 10:

Delay no longer, but let good reason weigh with you. Your warfare cannot succeed; therefore desist and yield cheerfully to him who will make you bow if you refuse his yoke. How infinitely wise is obedience to Jesus, and how dreadful is the folly of those who continue to be his enemies!

I am curious as to whether other nations were aware of this psalm. If so, how was it conveyed to them? How did they respond to it? Did this psalm compel them to declare their loyalty to the king of Israel – or did they regard it as bluster? Did they have analogous “psalms” in praise of their deities that included exhortations for Israel to submit to them? If they suffered a defeat at the hand of Israel, did the survivors reflect on this psalm and bemoan their decision to ignore it?

Psalm 1 December 14, 2018

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I’ve recently started reading through the Psalms with the aid of a commentary by Charles Spurgeon. I should note that I’ve previously read through the Psalms. I hope to acquire a deeper appreciation for the range of emotions that are expressed in this book – along with a deeper understanding of God Himself and His relationship with His creation.

I plan to blog about this experience as I read through both the book and Spurgeon’s commentary. Each post will generally correspond to a specific Psalm (exceptions will be made for longer Psalms).

For starters, here are my thoughts on Psalm 1.

Summary: In this passage, the psalmist draws a sharp contrast between two parties.

The first party consists of those whom God regards as being in a right relationship with Him. These “lucky bums” consistently strive to obey His commandments, bringing glory to His name – as He succors them.

The second party consists of those whom God does not regard as being in a right relationship with Him. Since they are useless in His eyes, He will subject them to eternal punishment.

Thoughts: In verse 2, the psalmist commends those who consistently strive to obey God’s commandments. Spurgeon offers some thoughts on this point:

And yet, in David’s day, how small was the volume of inspiration, for they had scarcely anything save the first five books of Moses! How much more, then, should we prize the whole written Word which it is our privilege to have in all our houses! But, alas, what ill-treatment is given to this angel from heaven! We are not all Berean searchers of the Scriptures.

This passage should challenge us, as believers, to ponder the following questions. Do we actually block off time to study Scripture on a daily basis? If so, do we ponder what we have read throughout the day? Is our daily study of Scripture challenging certain facets of our relationship with God (and others)? How can we (painfully) put Scripture into practice? How can we maintain our focus on God and His commandments in the face of myriad distractions? This psalm sets a high bar for the modern-day believer, and we would do well to wrestle with the challenge of clearing it.