Reading: Psalms 60-62
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 60: Human Help is Worthless
The hosts of Israel have failed in battle. The psalm is based on the old theology of holy war, validated by narratives from Israel’s past, according to which military ventures were successful only if God accompanied the hosts of Israel into battle. But beyond this obvious theme, Psalm 60 is the prayer of a suffering and oppressed people. Their prayer is not that of the powerful, who seek to claim God’s sanction to enforce the status quo. Rather, their prayer is the desperate plea of those who turn to God as the only possible hope in an apparently hopeless situation. The proclamation of the good news in Psalm 60 is that God’s reign will come. We wait and we pray for God’s reign; for God’s defeat of oppression and oppressors.
PSALM 61: The Rock Higher Than I
Like other prayers for help, Psalm 61 blends petition and trust in a manner that suggests they are simultaneous rather than sequential. The psalmist proclaims and entrusts the self to God’s sovereign providence in the midst of circumstances that seem to deny God’s sovereignty. This dynamic characterized the preaching of Jesus, who taught that the kingdom of God was both to be entered immediately and to be yet awaited. Christians are simultaneously both people of the cross and people of the resurrection.
PSALM 62: My Soul Waits for God Alone
Psalm 62 is a sustained declaration of trust in God. The repetition of “trust” and “heart” in verses 8 and 10 enables us to hear the call to the decision: Where do we set our heart? Where is our ultimate loyalty? In whom or in what do we trust? In whom or in what do we seek security? The psalmist’s choice is clear: Trust in God at all times.
This is the Psalm in hymn form. Read or sing it through with melody to give the Psalm another dimension.
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