Psalm 141: Safety in the Face of Evil

2 Chronicles 8-9, Psalm 141, Luke 10:38-42, 1 Thessalonians 4:11-18  Psalm 141: When we think of “evil” (141:4), we often think of other people—“evildoers” (141:4, 9). There certainly are “other people” in this world who do evil. And we certainly do need to be protected against the doers of evil. It would be naïve in the extreme not…

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Psalm 140: The Lord Secures Justice for the Poor

2 Chronicles 6-7, Psalm 140, Luke 10:25-37, 1 Thessalonians 4:1-10 Psalm 140: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me.” So goes one well-known saying that seems to dismiss evil, nasty, and despicable words as being unable to touch the person who has the right attitude about “mere words.” If only that were…

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Psalm 139: Search Me, O God

2 Chronicles 3-5, Psalm 139, Luke 10:17-24, 1 Thessalonians 3:7-13 Psalm 139: There is an imprecatory component to this psalm (verses 19-22; see my comments on the imprecatory psalms here), but otherwise, this psalm is filled with the most wonderful reflections upon the sovereignty of God. Sometimes people are somewhat scared of God’s sovereignty, but when rightly understood…

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Psalm 138: Before the “gods”

2 Chronicles 1-2 Psalm 138, Luke 10:1-16, 1 Thessalonians 3:1-6 Psalm 138: There are many reasons and causes for giving praise to God. Most commonly, we think of the “attributes” of God, or what it is that makes God to be God, such as his love or his holiness or his omniscience or his omnipotence. That, of course,…

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Psalm 137: Imprecation

1 Chronicles 29, Psalm 137, Luke 9:51-62, 1 Thessalonians 2:10-21 Psalm 137: This is perhaps the most infamous of what are called the “imprecatory” psalms—that is, psalms that pray for God’s judgment, sometimes in brutal detail, against sinful people. Why is there this tone in the Psalms? Many answers have been given, including some suggestion (parallel with C.S.…

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Psalm 136: His Love Endures Forever

1 Chronicles 26-28, Psalm 136, Luke 9:37-50, 1 Thessalonians 2:1-9 Psalm 136: If one of the first rules of interpretation is to look for repetition to be able to discern the main theme of a text, then the main theme of this text is pretty clear! “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures…

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Psalm 135: Praise the Lord!

1 Chronicles 23-25, Psalm 135, Luke 9:28-36, 1 Thessalonians 1 Psalm 135: One of the questions that is frequently asked of Christians – and which Christians themselves at least sometimes also ask – is why is it that we should “praise the Lord.” Is God insecure that we need to keep telling him how great he is? And…

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Psalm 133-134: The Blessing of Unity!

1 Chronicles 20-22, Psalm 133-134, Luke 9:18-27, Colossians 4:10-18 Psalm 133: Unity is a much-undervalued commodity. And yet, when rightly grasped and applied, it is one of the most precious possessions of all. The apostle Paul urges us to make every effort to maintain the “unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” And this first psalm,…

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Psalm 132: I Will Not Give Sleep to My Eyes

1 Chronicles 17-19, Psalm 132, Luke 9:1-17, Colossians 4:1-9   Psalm 132: Remembering David is something that seems not particularly relevant to the modern Christian, but this psalm shows us why it is important. First of all, he is a model of commitment to God’s people and to God’s house. He “vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob,…

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Psalm 130-131: Profound Peace

1 Chronicles 15-16, Psalm 130-131, Luke 8:40-56, Colossians 3:15-25 Psalm 130: De Profundis—out of the depths I cry to you. We think of being “profound” as a state of wisdom or insight. But there is a profundity in despair, and this psalmist is in despair. He cries out to God. And what he declares about God is purest…

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