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Showing posts from September, 2019

Psalm 79- Impecatory Psalms

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Psalm 79 
Bible scholars call Psalm 79 an Imprecatory Psalm. The Imprecatory Psalms are a group of psalms that invoke judgement, or curses on enemies. They are among the more uncomfortable and difficult to process. I’ll read a few examples for you. 
From today’s Psalm 79:6-7- Pour out your anger on the nations that do not know you, and on the kingdoms that do not call upon your name! For they have devoured Jacob and laid waste his habitation.
From Psalm 109:8-9, 17-18-
May his days be few
may another take his office! May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow!
He loved to curse; let curses come upon him! He did not delight in blessing; may it be far from him! He clothed himself with cursing as his coat; may it soak into his body like water, …

Psalm 14- Foundations for the moral life

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Psalm 14; Luke 15:1-10
Our psalm starts by saying,
“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’”.We have to look at this a bit closer because on the surface it seems to say that atheists are not intelligent, which we know is not the case. There are many intelligent atheists, just as we know there are many intelligent believers. Richard Dawkins is a brilliant biologist and an atheist. Francis Collins led the human genome project and is a Christian.

One such intelligent atheist was the German Fedrick Nietzsche who lived from 1844 to 1900. He was skilled in many areas, but he is primarily remembered as a philosopher. He once wrote a kind of parable called ‘The Madman’ and I would like to read a bit of it for you.
“Have you not heard of that madman who lit a lantern in the bright morning hours, ran to the market place, and cried incessantly: ‘I seek God! I seek God!’--As many of those who did not believe in God were standing around just then, he provoked much laughter. Has he got l…

Psalm 139- being fully known

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Psalm 139
The Psalm we are looking at today is Psalm 139. This is one of the most loved psalms. We turn to it when we need God’s comfort, and it is often requested for funerals. It is a Psalm that highlights God’s constant attention, and His persistent presence.

The Psalm begins, “1 O Lord, you have searched me and known me!2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar.3 You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.4 Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.”The Psalmist (maybe King David) is contemplating God’s attention on his life. His knows if he is sitting, or standing, or laying down. … Not only does God know the physical outward actions of the psalmist, God also knows his inward movements. God is aware of all his thoughts and every word before it is spoken. … It’s hard to imagine being more intimately known than this.

This might be comforting, but it might not be. … In…

Psalm 81- O Israel, if you would but listen to me

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Psalm 81
Our Psalm today is Psalm 81. It begins with an exhortation to sing and shout for joy to God and play musical instruments as a part of a feast day.

What the ancient Israelites didn’t seem to forget in their writtings, but we often seem to, is that when we worship, we are doing this for God. We come to God with our voices and instruments and we aren’t singing for our own pleasure, but for God’s. So, when we think, “oh, I like this song” or “oh, I don’t like this song” we should really be asking is, “is this a song appropriate for worshiping God?”. And what is probably even more important is, “is my inner attitude at worship pleasing to God?”

The psalmist reminds the people that they have been commanded to joyfully celebrate the feast days. He says it is a “statute”, a “rule”, and a “decree” which was given to them when they were rescued from slavery in Egypt. In Hebrew poetry repetition is a way of giving emphasis. For our psalm to say, “statute”, “rule”, and “decree” is to pl…