Friday, April 28, 2017

Psalm 48

Summary: The psalmist praises God as Protector of Jerusalem, and therefore his home and people. God inhabits every nook and cranny of the city and pushes back any attempt at capture.

Response: So the problem of evil (how did I get there? Gimme a sec): why does God allow evil things to happen when He's all-powerful? I believe in free will, that we can choose to go with God's will or on our own. Through the biblical kingdom of Israel's history, its people would turn away from God over and over. "God, we don't need your help. We have this on our own." And so God backs off. He could have prevented the siege of Babylon or Roman rule, but Israel asked Him not to interfere, so he respected their wishes.

Lord, I do this too often myself. Keep me from this sin (I tried folly here, but it's too nice a word) and keep me company reliant on You.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Psalm 47

Summary: The psalmist shouts God's praises, as the One who installed Israel among the nations and the One who reigns over all nations and peoples.

Response: I like the second half better but the entire psalm is easy to digest. Eventually I'm going to get into some deeper emotion, but I'm happy to just be happy for a bit.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Psalm 46

Summary: The psalmist announces God as Protector through the most difficult times, from war to Armageddon.

Response: I tend to be very picky on subject matter for worship songs I lead  I don't do a whole lot of end times songs, for instance, because I feel like people who focus on that aspect of the story tend to turtle up instead of continuing to evangelize (and I have a tough enough time with that anyways). But this one might be just a bit different, not offering a prediction but simple faith and confidence in God.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Psalm 45

Summary: The psalmist praises a royal marriage. Woo.

Response: Like, that's it. I'm not really sure I would've been any happier about it yesterday, but oh well. On to the next tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Psalm 44

Summary: The psalmist praises God for past deliverance in the first section. This salvation goes back generations. But the second section tells us of recent defeats and anguish, as the psalmist cries out for God to save His people.

Response: I'll admit, the second half surprised me some. The first part can read as nostalgic celebration, but on re-reading it can sound whiny (they got it, why not me? It's so unfair). I'm a firm believer that God, bring creative, finds different ways to speak to different people at different times. Some (like Bible study, discipleship, and prayer) are mainstays, but many feel almost new. It's not my gift per se​ to start new ministries, but I hope I can​ be faithful in supporting them.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Psalm 43

Summary: In a very similar theme to the last psalm, the palmist cries for God's help, praising His deliverance from a godless enemy.

Response: Help me, Lord, to see through Your eyes what really is and isn't part of Your will.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Psalm 42

Summary: The psalmist languishes upon being trapped far away from the Temple. He wants God like a deer sprints to a stream and like two nearby streams seem to call out to each other.

Response: As part of my small group at church, we've been working on praying the Lord's ​prayer. It's been interesting, and I like how it directs my focus away from my problems and toward His solutions.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Psalm 41

Summary: David asks for God's protection from the many people around him who slander and plot against him.

Response: I hope we see more of David later on in the Psalms. This is the end of the first group of them, and tomorrow's will - gasp - not be one of his, and this last one left a sour, paranoia-laced taste in my mouth​.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Psalm 40

Summary: David, saved by God, showers Him with praise for deliverance, then asks for it yet again.

Response: Keep saving me. It wasn't expressly written, but the point gets across (to me, anyways) that David feels like this salvation can't be a singular event, but a continual renewal. And let me clarify: yes, I believe Jesus died once for all people and for all sin, but we (I) need to keep accepting that grace.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Psalm 39

Summary: David decides to use his tongue only for God's purposes. The words that spill out talk only of his sin and desire for mercy.

Response: I know I'm in the same boat; I am so busy with my day that I feel I can't do anything for God. Lord, help me to slow down, to trim excess, that I might talk with You more and more.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Psalm 38

Summary: David asks God for an end to His judgement. It's killing him, literally in the poem, not to be aligned and in good standing with God. Even without a Word from Him, and even with his enemies and family taunting him, David continues to seek God out.

Response: Lord, bring what's between You and me to the forefront of my mind. Help me to accept the grace that lets me change and be in right standing with You.