Reading: Psalms 28-30
Click on the link for the reading to read the Psalms for this week. As we read, let us not do so in haste. Take time to read each Psalm at least three times: once to understand the content, once as a poem or song to feel the meaning, and once as a prayer to appropriate the Psalm into your life. There will often be a hymn attached at the bottom of the page that helps bring meaning to one of the Psalms for the week.
PSALM 28:The Lord Is My Strength
This psalm is a prayer for help. If the petitioner is not heard by God, it will be like he was on the way to the Pit, to Sheol, the realm of death. Sheol is a place of silence where neither God’s word nor human praise is heard. To experience the silence of God is a foretaste of death. The person expresses confidence that God will deal with the wicked. Then there is praise that God will indeed hear the prayer. Finally, the prayer is expanded to include all of God’s people. We are reminded that in one sense there is no such thing as individual salvation. A To live under God’s claim, to live as God intends, is to live as part of God’s people. To belong to God means also to belong to others.
PSALM 29: Glory to God!
Psalm 29 is an Old Testament doxology in praise to the Lord as sovereign of the universe. The kingdom, power and glory are the themes. The psalmist looks to the heavenly realm and imagines the cosmic place of God. There the Lord is enthroned above the flood, the cosmic ocean that was thought to surround the world. Around the throne are the divine beings who make up the heavenly court and council. The hymn envisions a scene described in Revelation 4:1-11. To view the world as the sphere of God’s sovereignty rather than the arena of human progress would have profound implications. Creation does not exist simply for the sake of humanity. When we act as if it does, the results are disastrous—dirty water, polluted air, soil erosion, and depletion of the ozone layer. Inequitable distribution of land and resources threatens life in our cities and destabilizes delicate international relations. The more we seek to secure our own future, the less secure we become. Psalm 29 becomes a call to yield control to the sovereignty of God.
PSALM 30: You Have Turned My Mourning Into Dancing
This is a psalm of thanksgiving for deliverance. In it a person whose prayer for help has been answered brings an offering of praise and proclamation in gratitude. It is associated with the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah) which celebrated the restoration of proper worship in 165 BCE after the desecration of the temple by Antiochus IV Epiphanes, although the psalm is considered to be much older than that. It is possible to hear Psalm 30 in a simplistic way—pray long enough and God will make everything all right. But it is also possible to hear that the psalmist’s new orientation to life means a reevaluation of suffering and joy: suffering is fitted into the course of life in a comprehensive way, and the new reality of the nearness of God and the help of God fills life and determines the understanding of the existence of suffering and joy. Suffering need not be considered an absence of God for those who take refuge in God. The existence of suffering does not negate the good news that life is a gift from God.
This is the Psalm in hymn form. Read or sing it through with melody to give the Psalm another dimension.
We’ve attached a video clip for this song.
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