Browsing articles tagged with " Psalm"
Nov 3, 2011

New Moon

New Moon

The Hebrew calendar is based on lunar phases. The traditional Rosh Codesh (New Moon) Prayer incorporates Psalm 104.
How does that feel to you, welcoming a new month by praising God, the Creator?

Oct 1, 2011

Occupy Wall Street

More than a hash-tag #occupywallstreet is protesting against social and economic inequality, corporate greed, and the influence of corporate money and lobbyists on government, among other concerns. The author of Psalm 72 prescribes the following remedy:
“Teach the king to judge with your righteousness, O God; share with him your own justice, so that he will rule over your people with justice and govern the oppressed with righteousness. May the land enjoy prosperity; may it experience righteousness. May the king judge the poor fairly; may he help the needy and defeat their oppressors.”

Sep 24, 2011

Happy are those who are humble

Jesus famously says: “Happy are those who are humble…”.
Where does such an insight come from?
Jesus new the Hymnal of Judaism, including Psalm 37:
“but the humble will possess the land and enjoy prosperity and peace.”

Sep 23, 2011

Nursery Rhyme

The Bible contains all kinds of literature. Psalm 34 for example is a nursery rhyme. It is built as an Acrostic and even quotes the “Sunday School Teacher”:
“Come, my young friends, and listen to me, and I will teach you to honor the LORD.”

Jul 1, 2011

Move On

Today’s reading is Psalm 32. I preached about that back in March under the title Move On.

May 5, 2011

God bless America

“The LORD will make us prosperous, and our land will produce rich harvests.” Today is National Day of Prayer and the American Bible Society picked Psalm 85 as reading. It starts out with a reminder how God has blessed the chosen people of Israel:
“LORD, you have been merciful to your land; you have made Israel prosperous again.”

The Psalmist remembers how God’s relationship with Israel has not always been easy but full of steadfast love and continues to pray that God may make his or her land as prosperous as God has made Israel. Today we do that on behalf of the United States of America:
“The President shall issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a National Day of Prayer on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.”
36 U.S.C. § 119 : US Code – Section 119

Apr 27, 2011

Hebrews 4:14-5:14

Today’s Reading is Hebrews 4:14-5:14.
Here Jesus is described as being in the priestly order of Melchizedek. That is a thing the Bible has hardly anything about:

Genesis 14:17-19 knows:
“When Abram came back from his victory over Chedorlaomer and the other kings, the king of Sodom went out to meet him in Shaveh Valley (also called King’s Valley). And Melchizedek, who was king of Salem and also a priest of the Most High God, brought bread and wine to Abram, blessed him, and said, “May the Most High God, who made heaven and earth, bless Abram!”
– So the sacrifice that is brought by a priest of the Melchizedek order does not have animals in it but merely bread and wine. This can be understand as to relating to Christ’s last supper.

Psalm 110:4 knows:
The LORD made a solemn promise and will not take it back: “You will be a priest forever in the priestly order of Melchizedek.”
– Of Melchizedek we don’t know anything as far as ancestors or descendants goes. Same for the priesthood of Christ not being handed down to him or by him but eternal in itself.

What all of this does is that it gives Christ a unique position of unquestionable stability and power as an intermediator between God and us. Enter the Bible has a wonderful summary of the Epistle’s intention:
“The book of Hebrews brings a word of encouragement to discouraged Christians. The intended readers once had a vivid sense of God’s presence and later showed bold support for others during an outburst of persecution. Yet as time dragged on, some began drifting away. The author emboldens them by telling of the way Jesus the pioneer went through suffering into glory, making a way for others to follow. As high priest, Christ offered himself as the atoning sacrifice, bringing others into a new covenant relationship with God. People are therefore called to persevere in faith, knowing that God will be faithful.”

Mar 31, 2011

Psalms 115 +116

Yesterday’s Reading was Psalm 115. Today it’s Psalm 116.
I want to use this opportunity to look at the book of Psalms in its entirety. The most comprehensive look at the Architecture of the Book of Psalms came from Erich Zenger who passed away on East Sunday 2010:

1-2 framework – prooemium: torah + messiah/Zion/reign of God

3-41 1st book: psalms of David (3-14,15-24,25-34,35-41)
41:14 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and Amen.

42-72 2nd book: psalms of Korah (42-49); psalm of Asaph (50); psalms of David (51-72)
72:18f Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things.19Blessed be his glorious name forever; may his glory fill the whole earth. Amen and Amen.

73-89 3rd book: psalms of Asaph (73-83); psalms of Korah (84f, 87-89); 86 psalm of David
89:53 Blessed be the Lord forever. Amen and Amen.

90-106 4th book: Moses composition (90-92); reign of YHWH (93-100); David composition (101-106)
106:48 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. And let all the people say, “Amen.” Praise the Lord!

107-145 5th book: psalms of praise (Toda) (107 and 145; reign of YHWH); psalms of David (108f and 138-145); Alphabet. Torapsalms (111f and 119); Hallel (113-118); pilgrimage psalms (120-137)
145,21 My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord, and all flesh will bless his holy name forever and ever.

146-150 framework – final Hallel (10x Hallelujah)

So our two psalms are the centerpiece of the Full Hallel that consists of six Psalms (113–118), which are said as a unit, on joyous occasions. I can see why.

Mar 8, 2011

Psalm 57

Today’s Reading is Psalm 57.
Verse 6 has become a proverb in many languages:
“Wer anderen eine Grube gräbt, fällt selbst hinein”
“Tel est pris qui croyait prendre”
“Ko drugome jamu kopa, pada sam u nju”
“Wie een kuil graaft voor een ander, valt er zelf in”
“Kto pod kim dołki kopie, sam w nie wpada”
“не рой другому яму, сам в неё попадёшь”
In English that would be “Harm set, harm get.”

Mar 7, 2011

Psalm 51

Today’s Reading is Psalm 51.
To remarkable things here:

Verse 5 – “I have been evil from the day I was born; from the time I was conceived, I have been sinful.”
A powerful reminder of the fact that our actions cannot be sin. We are sinners by birth, before we even did anything. Nothing we do can separate us from the love of God.

And then there is my favorite musical setting: