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A.            The Relevance of the Psalms In his commentary on the Psalms (Word, 1986), Don Williams describes several aspects of the Psalter that are especially relevant to the church today: (1)           Renewal in Worship. The Psalms model praise and devotion as they flow from the hearts of people who know the living God. They meditate upon God's majesty and resp...Read More

A continuation of part one . . . E.             The Groupings of the Psalms The Psalter is divided into five books: 1-41, 42-72, 73-89, 90-106, 107-150. Most believe the five books were created to parallel the five books of Moses (Pentateuch). Each of the five books concludes with a doxology (cf. 41:13). Each of the five books also shows a preference for a particular version of the divine name. Book I &n...Read More

A.            C. S. Lewis on the Problem of Praise in the Psalms Understanding the struggle with the concept of praise which C. S. Lewis had on his initial encounter with the Psalms will help us appreciate this central focus of the Psalter. The following passage is taken from Lewis' book, Reflections on the Psalms. "When I first began to draw near to belief in God and even for some time after it had been given to m...Read More

It was Solomon who said, "The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but the prayer of the upright is His delight" (Prov. 15:8). Although God is spirit, if he had a face he would display one of two looks when people pray. According to Prov. 15:8 God frowns in disgust when the wicked hypocritically try to manipulate him with their sacrifices. But he has a beaming, glowing smile of indescribable delight whenever his children pray. Why? It certainly isn't be...Read More

Absalom was David’s third son. His second son, Chileab, is never mentioned after reference to his birth and the assumption is that he died early on. David’s first-born son was Amnon. The story of how Amnon died is a sordid one. Amnon raped his half-sister, Tamar, and Absalom, Tamar’s brother, swore revenge. It took two years but finally Absalom arranged for Amnon to be killed. Fearing punishment, Absalom went into exile for three years. When he finally ...Read More

It is difficult to live in this world of corruption, abuse, and mindless cruelty and not experience a recurring spiritual nausea. When one witnesses the senseless injustice in the world and the prosperity of those who are responsible for it, nausea turns to indignation and righteous rage. I know a little of what the psalmist meant when he cried out, "How long, O Lord, how long?" Sometimes the question, "How long?" does not spring from a speculative curiosity that says, "...Read More

David lists ten characteristics of the person who will "abide" in God's tent and "dwell" on his holy hill. (1)???????????????????? First, this person walks with integrity (15:2).   (2)???????????????????? Second, this individual works righteousness (15:2). This is the person who actually does what is righteous, rather than merely talks about it. Doing what is right and lawful and good and honest is eminently pleasing to God, whether it be in private or public, in...Read More

The power of the Word of God is perhaps nowhere better seen than in Psalm 19. There we find six declarations that tell us what the Bible is and does: 6 nouns, 6 adjectives, 6 verbs. The focus is on the identity, the quality, and the function of Scripture. First, "the law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul" (v. 7a). identity - "law" = lit., instruction, in whatever form God sends it; quality - "perfect" = whole, complete, lacking defect of any kind; function -...Read More

The Agony and the Extacy...Read More

Taking Heart in God...Read More

When Your Confidence Craters...Read More

Go Hard for God...Read More

The Joy of Forgiveness...Read More

Lord of the Stork and Rock Badger...Read More

The Magnificence of God's Sovereignty...Read More

The Unsearchable Splendor of God...Read More

Psalm 148...Read More

[This bibliography contains only the more helpful commentaries on the Psalms and ones with which I am personally familiar. I have placed an * after those books that I would recommend you purchase.]                   Allen, Ronald Barclay. Praise! A Matter of Life and Breath. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1980. *              ...Read More

The following verses in the Psalms present us with a very real problem: Pss. 5:10; 6:10; 7:6; 9:19-20; 10:2,15; 17:13; 28:4; 31:17-18; 35:1,4-8,19,24-26; 40:14-15; 41:10; 54:5; 55:9,15; 56:7; 58:6-10; 59:5,11-14; 63:9-10; 68:1-2; 69:22-28; 70:2-3; 71:13; 79:6,10-12; 83:9-18 (cf. Judges 4:15-21; 5:25-27); 94:1-4; 97:7; 104:35; 109:6-19,29; 119:84; 129:5-7; 137:7-9; 139:19-22; 140:8-11; 141:10; 143:12. There are more than just a few who believe these "prayers" (if it is ...Read More